It got ugly early tonight, as the Gamecocks failed to capitalize with runners on second and third in the first inning, only to have Clemson score four runs in the bottom of the inning. The first inning also featured a curious coaching decision, as Max Schrock bunted after Gene Cone and Elliott Caldwell had taken back-to-back walks to start the game. Memo to Coach Holbrook: just say no to bunting.
Anyway, getting back in the game seemed possible at that point, but then the Tigers added four more runs in the third inning, thanks to back to back homers from Chris Okey and Weston Wilson.
South Carolina had pretty much their only successful offensive inning in the fourth. Schrock and Martin knocked singles, then both came home when Connor Bright went yard, making the score 8-3.
The Gamecocks added their only other run in the next inning, on a single from Bright and subsequent error on Clemson. Bright had a career-high four RBI in this game.
That score held until the seventh inning, when Wilson belted another home run - this time a three-run shot - to make it 11-4.
The Gamecocks had plenty of chances to get some runs tonight, and they came up woefully short. Perhaps the moment that best sums up this game is Max Schrock getting hit by a ball Kyle Martin hit, which would've scored at least two runners, had it not hit Schrock for the final out of the sixth inning.
Starter Wil Crowe got off to a rough start, but he settled down for the most part as the game went on. Unfortunately, the bullpen, which is usually a strength for this team, was also a bit shaky, save for John Parke, who did a nice job during his time on the mound. Crowe took the loss and is now 1-1 on the season. Clemson started Matthew Crownover earned the win and improves to 2-0.
South Carolina drops to 6-2 on the season, while the Tigers improve to 6-2. They'll meet again tomorrow in Greenville, with first pitch scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EST. Jack Wynkoop will start on the mound for the Gamecocks.