The Gamecocks got great starting pitching on Friday night, but a lack of clutch offense and a tough ninth inning led to a loss in the first game of the series against Clemson.
South Carolina took an early lead, going up 1-0 in the first after Michael Braswell and Carson Hornung both walked and Andrew Eyster brought Braswell home with a sac fly. The lead was short-lived, though, as the Tigers tied the game in the second on a base hit by Cooper Ingle.
The tie held until the sixth inning, when the Cocks regained the lead thanks to a one-out solo shot from Josiah Sightler that put them up 2-1. Again the lead didn’t last long, as Clemson made it 2-2 on a Jonathan French homer in the eighth. The final run of the game came in the ninth, when Bryar Hawkins singled following an error and an intentional walk.
USC starter Will Sanders had a great outing, working seven innings and allowing six hits but just one run. He walked five batters and struck out 14, a career high. Wesley Sweatt and John Gilreath combined to go the rest of the way, and Gilreath took the loss, making him 0-1. Tigers starter Mack Anglin pitched six innings and gave up two hits and two runs. He walked four batters and struck nine out. Reliever Alex Edmondson got the win and is now 2-0, while Ryan Ammons earned the save, his third. Braswell and Sightler led the Gamecocks at the plate with two hits each, while Eyster and Sightler each recorded an RBI. Tyler Corbitt and Hawkins led Clemson with two hits apiece, while Ingle, Hawkins and French each tallied an RBI. Both teams had trouble with stranding runners, as the Tigers left 14 on the bases and Carolina left 10.
The Cocks are now 7-2 on the season, while Clemson is 9-0. They’ll meet again on Saturday, with first pitch set for 4 p.m.