After coming apart to lose a close game on Saturday, the Gamecocks bounced back on Sunday afternoon.
South Carolina had a chance to take an early lead in the second inning when they had two runners on and one out, but they failed to capitalize (this would become a theme for the day).
The Gamecocks did get on the board in the third inning, though. TJ Hopkins singled with one out, Jacob Olson walked, and a couple of wild pitches later, Alex Destino walked too and Hopkins came home to make it 1-0.
Unfortunately, Clemson tied things up in the top of the fourth on a solo homer by Andrew Cox.
The game was tied until the sixth inning, when South Carolina regained the lead. With two outs, Madison Stokes singled and Chris Cullen belted an RBI double t make it 2-1 in favor of the home team. Those hits were Stokes and Cullen’s first of the series, and they were one of the few examples of clutch hitting we’ve seen this weekend.
That lead was short-lived, because the combination of a Gamecocks error and a couple of Clemson base hits enabled the Tigers to tie the game again in the top of the seventh inning. That tie didn’t last for long, though, as South Carolina took back the lead again in the bottom of the inning when Hopkins led off with a triple and came home on a Matt Williams RBI double.
It seemed like the Gamecocks were finally going to lock down a Sunday victory when who else but Seth Beer went yard with two outs in the ninth to tie the game yet again. South Carolina managed to get two runners on in the bottom of the ninth when Coach Chad Holbrook inexplicably pulled Destino for Justin Row. The idea was for Row to bunt the runners over, but the bunt failed and everything was terrible.
After a scoreless 10th inning, Clemson took the final lead of the game in the 11th on a wild pitch, which really just sums up this series. The Tigers added one more run in the inning before it was all said and done.
The Gamecocks left way too many runners on base today, and they were also severely lacking in the clutch hitting department. That’s been somewhat of an issue all season, and it needs to get better - fast.
Starter Adam Hill did a nice job today, working 5 1⁄3 innings and allowing five hits but just one run. He also walked three batters and struck out seven. Colie Bowers, Reed Scott, Josh Reagan, Brandon Murray, Tyler Haswell, and Sawyer Bridges combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks.
With the loss, South Carolina drops to 7-5, while Clemson improves to to 8-3. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday when they host The Citadel at Founders’ Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.