Gamecocks take a broom to Tigers for series sweep

uscbase-englishfiveFour consecutive two-out hits in the top of the ninth inning led to four runs as third ranked South Carolina rallied in the ninth inning for a 5-3 win vs. 11th ranked Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium to sweep the three-game series against the Tigers.

The Gamecocks are now 10-0 on the year with Clemson dropping to 6-4 for the season.

Trailing 3-1 entering the top of the ninth inning, the Gamecocks got things started with a base hit up the middle of the bat of Kyle Martin. With two outs and Martin still on first base, Grayson Greiner kept the inning alive with a single up the middle as well. Pinch hitter Brison Celek fought to a 2-2 count against Clemson reliever Clate Schmidt before knocking a base hit into left field to load the bases.

That set the stage for sophomore shortstop Marcus Mooney, who jumped on the first pitch from Schmidt for a single into center field. Martin scored as did Greiner to tie the game. It was a tight play at the plate as center fielder Tyler Slaton’s throw made it to home plate, but Clemson catcher Chris Okey was unable to hold on to the ball on a tag attempt as Greiner was sliding in for the tying run. With runners on second and third, Tanner English fought off a pair of two strike pitches and then belted a double to left field scoring both runners and giving the Gamecocks a two-run lead. Junior right-hander Cody Mincey retired all three Tiger batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the Carolina victory.

Mincey earned the win in relief, his second win of the weekend with two scoreless innings of relief with just two hits allowed and three strikeouts. He is 2-0 on the year. Schmidt suffered the loss and is now 1-2 for the season. He allowed four runs on five hits in 2.2 innings with five strikeouts.

South Carolina’s 10-hit afternoon included a 3-for-4 game by Connor Bright and a pair of hits and three RBI from English. Bright has hit safely in all 10 games this year and has an 11-game hitting streak dating back to last season. Tyler Slaton went 3-for-5 and Steven Duggar was 3-for-4 to lead Clemson at the plate.

Both starting pitchers limited the teams early in the contest. South Carolina freshman right-hander Wil Crowe worked 6.2 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Clemson junior right-hander Jake Long allowed one run on five hits in 6.1 innings with a walk and four strikeouts.

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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