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LSU head coach Paul Mainieri , right, visits the mound to relieve starting pitcher Blake Money as relief pitcher Ma’Khail Hilliard (52) enters the game in the second inning of LSU's game three versus South Carolina Saturday in LSU's Alex Box Stadium.

Three thoughts and observations from LSU's weekend series loss to South Carolina, in which the Tigers were on the brink of a second straight Southeastern Conference series win but instead were swept in a Saturday doubleheader and fell to 4-11 in SEC play.

1. Starting pitching did its part

AJ Labas and Landon Marceaux were at the top of their game this weekend, combining to throw 13 scoreless innings. The only misstep came in the top of the seventh of the first game Saturday, when Labas finally cracked to allow the Gamecocks to tie the game with a pair of runs. Before that, he looked sharp with only three hits allowed. Meanwhile, on Thursday night, Marceaux struck out 12 and allowed just three hits in seven scoreless.

2. Rain changed the series

Friday’s rainy weather did a lot more than postpone a game. After a decent showing at the plate on Thursday that saw five runs plated, LSU’s bats looked more than a little soggy Saturday with just two runs on nine hits between both games. That drought left Labas out to dry late in the opener and gave LSU no hope at overcoming an early deficit in the lopsided series finale.

3. Money problems

Blake Money now has two starts under his belt, and neither went the way the freshman would have liked them to go. After getting knocked with five earned runs on six hits last week in a loss against Kentucky, Money failed to make it out of the second inning on Saturday after allowing five runs on five hits. He’s also allowed three home runs so far, including a 2-run shot in the first against South Carolina. The Tigers will have to determine if there's a better option to start the final game of weekend series or whether Money deserves another chance with top-10 opponents Ole Miss and Arkansas up next.