Gamecocks Baseball Field Report: Tiger Blood Edition

South Carolina won the season series against Clemson 2 games to 1 by scores of 6-3, 5-10 and 5-4.

Breaking it Down…South Carolina hosted the first game of the series on Friday night at Carolina Stadium.  Clemson started the scoring in the second inning.  Following a walk and an error by shortstop Peter Mooney, Clemson moved the runners over and got a double and single to take a 3-0 lead.  South Carolina answered in the bottom of the second when Brady Thomas belted a two run home run to cut the lead to 3-2.  The Gamecocks would take a 4-3 lead on Christian Walker’s two run home run in the fifth.  Michael Roth continued to shut the Tigers down and pitched 7 innings.  John Taylor came in to pitch in the eighth and hit the lone batter he faced.  Bryan Harper came in and struck out the next batter before giving way to Matt Price.  The Gamecock offense added two runs in the eighth when Scott Wingo hit a two run home run to drive in Jake Wiliams.  Matt Price struck out the side in the ninth to close the game.

On Saturday the game at Fluor Field was rained out, so that game was moved to Tuesday night.  The teams played as scheduled on Sunday in Clemson.  South Carolina took an early lead on Jackie Bradley Jr’s solo home run.  In a typically classless move Clemson coach Jack Leggett asked that the bat be checked.  Of course, there was nothing wrong with the bat and nothing came of the ploy.  Clemson took the lead in the third 2-1 after two singles and a double with two outs.  Clemson extended the lead to 3-1in the sixth on another two out double.  The Gamecocks erupted in the seventh for four runs to take a 5-3 lead.  Clemson got one run back in their half of the seventh.  Matt Price came in to shut the door in the 8th, but couldn’t.  He gave up 6 runs on 4 hits while suffering through 2 errors.  That ended the game.

The teams met for the rubber match on Tuesday night.  Clemson took an early lead 1-0 on a solo shot in the top of the fourth.  South Carolina wasn’t able to get much offense going and wasn’t able to respond until the seventh inning.  Peter Mooney drove in Christian Walker to tie the game.  Pinch hitting Jake Williams then hit a towering shot over the green monster in left field to plate 3 more.  The Gamecocks still led 4-1 when they came to the plate in the eighth.  Jackie Bradley Jr stretched a single to a double and then scored on Christian Walker’s RBI single.  The Gamecocks bullpen had plenty of trouble in the top of the ninth.  After loading the bases with no outs, Clemson got enough runs to cut the lead to 5-4.  With a runner on third Matt Price got the save by striking out some freshman pinch hitter for Clemson.

Stars of the Series…Michael Roth…W,7 IP, 3 runs, 0 ER, 6 K, 3 BB…Matt Price…2 Saves, 1 L…Adam Westmoreland…5.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, K…Christian Walker…5-10, 4 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR…Jake Williams…3-7, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B, GW HR…

What to take from the Weekend…First, we should be excited.  According to most of the experts, Clemson is supposed to be a good team.  How good they may really be will become evident in the next couple of months, but beating them is important for the program, and something we should be proud of.  That being said, there are some concerns in the bullpen.  On Sunday a two run lead was blown and on Tuesday a 4 run lead was nearly blown.  That will be an area that must remain strong for USC to make a run deep into the post season.

This and that…South Carolina moves to 9-1 on the season…They win the season series with Clemson 2-1…South Carolina has not lost the season series to Clemson since 2006…Christian Walker now has a 15 game hitting streak…

Up next…South Carolina plays host to Davidson at 7 on Tuesday night.  The Gamecocks then play Cal State Bakersfield this weekend at 7 on Friday, 4 on Saturday and 1:30 on Sunday.