South Carolina’s offense didn’t do a whole lot against Clemson in the series opener on Friday night, but they did just enough to earn a victory and keep their winning streak alive.
The Tigers got on the board first, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a homer by Grayson Byrd, but the lead was shortlived. In the next inning, Quinntin Perez got hit to start things off, and Andrew Eyster followed with a two-run shot to tie the game at 2-2. Chris Cullen kept things going with a single, Brady Allen doubled with two outs, and TJ Hopkins came through with a three-run bomb to put USC up 5-2. Unfortunately, that was the end of the Gamecocks’ scoring for the night.
Clemson added a run in the third inning, when Davis Sharpe and Kyle Wilkie both singled with two outs and Michael Green brought Sharpe home with a base hit to make the score 5-3. The Tigers scored their final run of the night in the next inning, after Bryce Teodosio doubled, Kier Meredith singled, and Sam Hall followed with a sac fly to score Teodosio.
South Carolina starter Carmen Mlodzinski pitched just 2.1 innings before leaving the game with an injury. He allowed five hits and three runs, walked three batters, and struck out four. Wesley Sweatt, Cam Tringali, and Brett Kerry combined to go the rest of the way. Sweatt earned the win, making him 1-0, and Kerry got the save, his second of the season. Clemson starter Brooks Crawford took the loss and is now 0-1.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 8-1, while the Tigers drop to 7-2. They’ll meet again Saturday afternoon in Greenville, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Dylan Harley is slated to start on the mound for USC.