Impressive win yesterday over a team that I thought would be able to squeeze by LSU for the third time this year. But LSU's bats finally decided to come alive in the sixth. I was worried for a while because it looked like the Tigers may have lost their momentum after struggling to hit the ball Wednesday against Auburn. But it is great what a two-base scoring error can do for a team's confidence. Story BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- LSU's slumbering bats came alive with a flourish Thursday night at the Southeastern Conference tournament, as the Fighting Tigers scored five runs in the seventh inning to defeat conference champion South Carolina 8-3 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The Tigers (40-17) have earned a day off and will play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Friday's 6 p.m. game between South Carolina and Arkansas. The winner of the USC-Arkansas game must defeat LSU twice to reach the championship game Sunday at 3:05 p.m. LSU has now won 40 or more games in 14 consecutive years and 16 of the last 17 seasons, both SEC records. South Carolina (45-13) took a 3-2 lead through six innings and had limited the Tigers to five hits before LSU doubled its hit output in just one frame. Jon Zeringue led off the inning with a double off of South Carolina's Aaron Rawl, and the Gamecocks then brought in ace closer Blake Taylor, who leads the nation with 17 saves and had an SEC-best 1.64 ERA entering the contest. Taylor walked J.C. Holt, and after a fly ball by Aaron Hill, Wally Pontiff singled past a diving Trey Dyson to score Zeringue with the tying run, then Sean Barker lined a base hit to left to score Holt with the go-ahead run. Taylor walked Matt Heath to load the bases, and then got Blake Gill to pop to shortstop Drew Meyer for the second out. Taylor worked a 2-2 count on David Raymer before the Tigers' senior center fielder lined two-run single to right to give LSU a 6-3 lead. Chris Phillips then capped the uprising with an RBI single back through the box. Taylor fell to 5-1 on the year, giving up four runs on four hits in his one inning stint. Gamecock starter Steven Bondurant yielded just one unearned run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. South Carolina scored the games' first run in the bottom of the third as Meyer and Steve Thomas put together back-to-back singles with two outs before Brian Buscher singled past a diving Pontiff to plate Meyer for a 1-0 Gamecock lead. Thomas would score on a passed ball by Phillips in the fifth for a 2-0 USC edge. LSU got on the board in the sixth when Barker led off with a monstrous 425-foot home run to left field, and then Heath singled and went to second on a ground ball by Rocky Scelfo. Heath would then tie the game when he got caught in a rundown and the throw from Kevin Melillo went into the Tiger dugout. South Carolina would rally to take the lead in the sixth as Harris tripled with two out to deep left-center and scored on a wild pitch by Brian Wilson. The Gamecocks got their first two runners on base in the eighth as Garris Gonce doubled and Dyson walked, prompting LSU to replace Wilson with Jake Tompkins. Tompkins then proceeded to put out the fire by freezing Gary Bell with a called third strike, getting Harris to foul out to Phillips and getting Landon Powell to take a third strike. Wilson gave up 11 hits over seven-plus innings but improved to 9-4. Tompkins, who was not eligible for a save, has allowed just one of 16 inherited runners to score on him this year. Arkansas defeated Auburn earlier Thursday 8-5 to eliminate the Tigers of the Plains from the tournament in the other bracket two games. In bracket one games, Mississippi State eliminated Georgia, 10-3, and Alabama advanced to the bracket final with a 7-5 victory over Florida. Florida and Mississippi State play the first elimination game Friday at 3 p.m.