So. We’re about one-fifth of the way through the season now, and while there’s plenty of baseball left, there are also some issues that have been persistent already this year, several of which showed up again in Sunday’s rubber match against Clemson, which South Carolina lost 5-2 after a late rally by the Tigers.
Clemson again took an early lead, going up 1-0 on a two-out sac fly from Bryar Hawkins. The Gamecocks answered in the next inning, though. With two outs, Dallas Beaver knocked a base hit, Andrew Eyster doubled, and Noah Campbell came through with a two-run single to make it 2-1.
The Tigers had several chances to score in the next few innings, including in the sixth, when a wild series of events ended in a double play that involved an out at home and the runner at first passing the runner at second. Somehow, though, USC’s one-run lead held all the way until the seventh, when Clemson took back the lead for good. A pair of singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out for the Tigers, then a Hawkins sac fly, a two-run double from James Parker, and an Adam Hackenberg RBI single made it a 5-2 game.
Gamecocks starter Brannon Jordan had an...interesting outing, managing to hold Clemson to just one hit and one run in five innings of work. He also walked five batters and hit one, but struck four out. Graham Lawson, Daniel Lloyd, Cam Tringali, and Brett Kerry combined to go the rest of the way for Carolina. Kerry was unfortunately the only one who really had a good outing, Lloyd took the loss and is now 0-2. Clemson reliever Mat Clark earned the win and is now 2-0, while Tigers closer Carson Spiers got the save, his fourth of the season.
There was sloppiness across the board from the Gamecocks in this game, which is kind of becoming a theme this season. The batters couldn’t put balls in play, the defense made mistakes (though none officially counted as errors), and the pitchers couldn’t throw strikes. A bad combination if you ask me!
South Carolina is now 7-4 on the season, while Clemson improves to 9-2. The Gamecocks will try to get back in the win column on Tuesday when they play Furman. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Greenville.