After yesterday's shenanigans in Greenville, today's game was almost boring. That is, until the Gamecocks exploded for a four-run rally in the top of the ninth inning, coming from behind to sweep the Tigers with a 5-3 win.
Clemson took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, when Steven Duggar singled with two outs to bring Tyler Slaton across the plate. The run ended Wil Crowe's scoreless innings streak at 13.1, which is mighty impressive considering he's a freshman.
That score held until the fifth inning, when Tanner English tied the game. After some base running gaffes by the Gamecocks resulted in two outs, English knocked a single into left field that brought DC Arendas home and knotted the score at 1-1.
The Tigers regained the lead an inning later, though. After Garrett Boulware and Duggar led off with back-to-back singles, Chris Okey registered an RBI groundout to put his team up 2-1. While the run scoring was unfortunate, Marcus Mooney and Max Schrock turned an impressive double play to temper the Tigers' momentum, and Crowe got Steve Wilkerson to ground out and end the inning.
Clemson added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh, as Slaton singled to get Jay Baum home from second. Slaton followed that by stealing second, but I think he actually stole that call, because he didn't look safe. It was okay, though, because Fiori got Krieger to fly out and the inning ended without any further damage.
South Carolina looked to be finding themselves on the losing end of a game for the first time this season, but then the ninth inning happened. After Martin laced a one-out single, Grayson Greiner and Brison Celek knocked back-to-back two-out doubles to load the bases, and Marcus Mooney came through with an RBI double that tied the game at 3-3. English did the exact same thing, putting the Gamecocks up 5-3 and making it a completely different ballgame.
The semi-stunning rally (because really, is anything ever truly a surprise with Gamecock baseball?) was enough to get USC the victory, as the Tigers went quietly in the ninth.
Crowe worked 6.2 innings and allowed eight hits, three runs, didn't walk any batters, and struck out two. Vince Fiori and Cody Mincey went the rest of the way on the mound for the Gamecocks. Neither allowed a run or walk, and Mincey earned the win. He improves to 2-0 on the season. Clemson starter Jake Long lasted 6.1 innings and gave up five hits, one run, issued one walk, and tallied four Ks.
In other news of note, Connor Bright has now reached base in all 10 games this season. He led the team and went 3-of-4 at the plate today, while English was responsible for three RBI.
The Gamecocks stay perfect and improve to 10-0, while the Tigers fall to 6-4. USC has now won 23 of the past 31 games between the two teams, and this is the first sweep since 2008.
South Carolina will be back in action on Tuesday, when they host Stetson. The first pitch is set for 4 p.m.