South Carolina got back in the win column one day after their first loss of the season, beating Clemson 11-9 on Saturday to set up a rubber game on Sunday.
Both teams were scoreless until the fifth, when the Tigers took a 3-0 lead thanks to a two-run single by Chad Fairey and Cooper Ingle hitting into a run-scoring double play. The Gamecocks ended the shutout in the next inning and tied the game. Braylen Wimmer got hit by a pitch to start things off, Cole Messina singled with one out, and Ethan Petry doubled to get Wimmer home and make it 3-1. Gavin Casas walked after that, then Talmadge LeCroy came through with a base hit that brought in Messina and Petry, making the score 3-3.
Clemson regained the lead in the next inning, though, courtesy of a run-scoring base hit from Ingle, a Blake Wright two-run double, and Cam Cannarella hitting into a fielder’s choice, putting them up 7-3. USC answered in the bottom of the inning, taking their first lead of the game. Wimmer singled to lead off and advanced on a wild pitch, Messina reached on an error, and Petry knocked a base hit to bring Wimmer in and make it 7-4. Another wild pitch advanced the runners, Casas walked, and Messina came home on a fly out by LeCroy, making it a 7-5 game. Carson Hornung then blasted a three-run homer to put the Cocks on top 8-7.
Carolina’s final runs of the game came in the eighth. Wimmer got hit by a pitch with one out and scored on a Caleb Denny to bump the score to 9-7, then Messina went yard to push the lead to 11-7. The Tigers’ final runs were scored in the ninth on a two-run Will Taylor single.
Gamecocks starter Noah Hall pitched six innings and allowed six hits and three runs. He also walked one batter and struck out five. Matthew Becker, Cade Austin, and Chris Veach combined to go the rest of the way for South Carolina, and Becker got the win, making him 1-0. Clemson starter Tristan Smith worked 4.2 innings and gave up two hits and no runs. He also walked three batters and struck five out. Tigers reliever Jay Dill took the loss and is now 1-1.
Messina led the Cocks at the plate with three hits, while LeCroy and Hornung each tallied three RBI. Cannarella, Taylor, Fairey, and Benjamin Blackwell had two hits apiece for Clemson, while Taylor, Fairey, and Wright recorded two RBI each.
USC improves to 9-1 on the season, while the Tigers are now 5-5. They’ll meet again on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1:30 p.m. at Founders Park. Jack Mahoney is slated to start on the mound for the home team.