After a lackluster showing in pretty much every way on Friday night, South Carolina righted the ship (mostly, anyway) on Saturday, beating Clemson 8-5 and giving themselves a chance to win the series.
The Tigers got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI groundout by Davis Sharpe. That lead was shortlived, though, as the Gamecocks eased any fears about potentially being almost no-hit again. With two outs in the top of the second inning, Dallas Beaver singled, then scored on an RBI triple by Andrew Eyster to tie the game. Jeff Heinrich followed with an RBI single to put USC up 2-1.
The Gamecocks added two more runs in the top of the fourth. One came on a leadoff solo shot from Wes Clarke that was hit so hard it bounced off the scoreboard. After that, Brady Allen singled, Eyster walked with one out, and Heinrich tallied another RBI single to make the score 4-1. Carolina had a chance to really break things open after that, but left the bases loaded instead. Remember what I said about *mostly* righting the ship? Clemson got one run back in the bottom of the inning on an Adam Hackenberg RBI groundout, making it a 4-2 game.
That score held until the seventh, when the Gamecocks added a couple of insurance runs. Bryant Bowen started things off with a base hit and advanced on a passed ball, Clarke singled, and Allen came through with an RBI single to put USC up 5-2. With two outs, Heinrich hit an RBI sac fly to make the score 6-2.
Another Gamecocks run came in the next inning, when Noah Myers took a leadoff walk and later scored on a one-out RBI single by Bowen, putting South Carolina up 7-2. The Tigers answered in the bottom of the inning with two-out, two-run homer from Sharpe that made the score 7-4.
Both teams scored their final runs of the game in the ninth inning. The Gamecocks’ came when Eyster led off with a double and scored on an RBI sac fly from George Callil, while Clemson’s happened after the Tigers loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a base hit, and another walk forced a runner home.
USC starter Thomas Farr did a nice job, working five innings and allowing just two hits and two runs. He walked one batter and struck out three. Farr got the win and is now 2-0. TJ Shook, Daniel Lloyd, and Brett Kerry also pitched in this game, and Kerry got the save, his second of the season. Sharpe took the loss and is now 1-1.
The Gamecocks are now 7-3, while the Tigers are 8-2. The rubber game is set for Sunday in Clemson, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.