GREENVILLE, S.C. (Clemson SID) – Patrick Cromwell’s solo home run to right field in the ninth inning broke a 5-5 tie and propelled No. 12 Clemson to an 8-7 win over No. 4 South Carolina in front of a record crowd of 7,460 fans at Fluor Field on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers, who evened the series 1-1, improved to 7-3, while the Gamecocks dropped to 7-4.
Seth Beer hit a towering home run in the top of the first inning, his third long ball of the year. After Jonah Bride’s two-run homer in the fifth inning gave South Carolina the lead, the Gamecocks added a run in the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead.
Andrew Cox ripped a run-scoring double and Grayson Byrd lofted a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to narrow South Carolina’s lead to 5-4. Chase Pinder tied the score in the eighth inning on a run-scoring single, then Cromwell blasted his second long ball of the year to right field to give Clemson a 6-5 lead with one out in the ninth inning. The Tigers added two more runs in the ninth inning.
Ryley Gilliam (1-0) pitched the final 2.0 innings to record the win, while Reed Scott (0-1) suffered the loss.
The series concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m., in Columbia, S.C., on SEC Network+.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (USC SID) – Fourth ranked South Carolina fought and rallied to score twice in the bottom of the ninth inning, but fell one run short as a three-run top of the ninth inning by 12th ranked Clemson lifted the Tigers to an 8-7 win on Saturday afternoon in front of a record crowd of 7,460 at Fluor Field. The Gamecocks are now 7-4 on the year with Clemson 7-3 for the season.
Tied at 5-5 entering the ninth inning, the Tigers broke ahead with one out on a solo homer by Patrick Cromwell to right field, his second of the season. Clemson then loaded the bases and scored a pair more to break ahead 8-5 on a walk to Chase Pinder and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Chris Williams.
South Carolina dug deep though against Clemson closer Ryley Gilliam as TJ Hopkins led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk and a one-out single by Matt Williams and a throwing error by Clemson second baseman Grayson Byrd gave the Gamecocks runners on the corners. That set the stage for Jacob Olson, who launched a deep drive to left-center that just missed going over the “Green Monster” for a tying homer. Hopkins would score with Williams advancing to third on the double from Olson as the Gamecocks cut the deficit to a pair of runs. Jonah Bride then came to the plate and hit a grounder that got past Cromwell at third base. Williams scored and Olson attempted to score from second base, but a perfect throw by left fielder Seth Beer to catcher Chris Williams was enough to get Olson before he got to home plate for the second out of the inning. With the score cut to 8-7 and Bride on second base, Clemson closed out the game as Gilliam struck out Alex Destino.
Gilliam earned the win in relief allowing two runs on two hits in two innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Right-hander Reed Scott suffered the loss for the Gamecocks. He is 0-1 on the year. He allowed three runs in 0.2 innings of work.
Carolina out-hit Clemson 12-10 with Danny Blair, Bride, Olson, Justin Row and Matt Williams all with two hits apiece. Logan Davidson and Reed Rohlman had two hits, as did Andrew Cox to lead the Tigers.
Seth Beer gave Clemson a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homer to right field. Carolina would answer with a run in the bottom half of the inning as Justin Row tripled and scored on a two-out RBI single to left field by Bride.
The Gamecocks dominated in the middle innings with a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and a run in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. After an unearned run in the fourth inning, a two-run homer by Bride, his first of the year put Carolina up by two and a single and a throwing error by second baseman Grayson Byrd scored Hunter Taylor to give the Gamecocks a three-run lead.
South Carolina right-hander Wil Crowe was solid in his third start of the season and retired 14 in a row at one point. Clemson would creep to within a run in the seventh inning as Cox drove in a run with a double to center field and a sac fly by Byrd scored Clemson’s second run of the frame. The Tigers tied it at 5-5 in the eighth inning. Reed Rohlman tripled to open the eighth and Chase Pinder brought him home with a one-out RBI single up the middle.
A solo homer by Patrick Cromwell sparked a three-run ninth inning for the Tigers.
Seven of Clemson’s 10 hits came in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings as the Tigers scored six runs in the final three frames.
Junior right-hander Wil Crowe allowed four runs on four hits in six-plus innings of work in a no-decision. Crowe struck out six and walked two.
South Carolina finished with a season-high 12 hits including five extra base hits. Jacob Olson was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, Justin Row hit his first career triple for the Gamecocks and Jonah Bride homered and was 2-for-5 with four RBI. Bride’s four RBI are the most by him since he had five last season vs. The Citadel on May 17, 2016.
Matt Williams now owns a nine-game hitting streak.
Seven of the nine Gamecock position starters scored one run in Saturday’s game.
South Carolina is 3-3 on the year in games decided by three runs or less.
QUOTABLE FROM SOUTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH CHAD HOLBROOK “It was a game that we felt like through six innings we were kind of in control of. Then you have to give credit to Clemson. They really had some good at-bats there. I think we gave them a few free passes. They really capitalized in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning. They had some really good at-bats and we gave them some free passes as well with the walks. You can’t do that against a really good hitting team. Clemson is very gifted offensively. I’m proud of my team for battling and not quitting when things didn’t look so well. We had a chance to win the game there in the ninth inning. I’m glad they fought back to put themselves in that position. We’ve won one and lost one in this series and now we get to go play at home. That’s the message to my team. We have a great opportunity in front of us tomorrow, so we’ll try to take advantage of playing at Founders Park.”
The rubber game of the series is set for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Founders Park. It will be available live on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”