Beer HR Ties Game in 9th, Clemson Scores 2 in 11th to Beat USC, 5-3

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Clemson SID) – Logan Davidson scored on a wild pitch in the 11th inning to lift No. 12 Clemson to a 5-3 win over No. 4 South Carolina at Founders Park on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers, who won the series 2-1, improved to 8-3, while the Gamecocks dropped to 7-5. It was also Clemson’s 10th win in a row away from home, its longest streak since winning 11 games in a row away from home in 1995.

South Carolina scored a two-out run on a wild pitch in the third inning, then Andrew Cox belted hits first homer of the year, a solo shot to left field. After the Gamecocks took the lead on Chris Cullen’s two-out, run-scoring double in the sixth inning, Chase Pinder answered with a two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the seventh inning to tie the score 2-2. In the bottom of the seventh inning, TJ Hopkins led off with a triple and scored on Matt Williams’ double.

On a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Seth Beer blasted a solo homer to right field, his fourth long ball of the year, to tie the score 3-3. The Gamecocks put their first two batters on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Ryley Gilliam struck out Madison Stokes with the bases loaded to end the inning. In the 11th inning, Davidson led off with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on Reed Rohlman’s sacrifice bunt. Then on the first pitch to Beer, who Tyler Haswell was trying to intentionally walk, his toss was in the dirt and went to the backstop, allowing Davidson to score. Pinder added a run-scoring single in the 11th inning.

Alex Schnell (1-0) earned the win, while Brandon Murray (0-1) suffered the loss.

Clemson returns to Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., to face Michigan State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Tigers are the designated visiting team and will occupy the third-base dugout.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — The University of South Carolina baseball team fell to Clemson on Sunday afternoon, 5-3, in 11 innings at Founders Park. The victory gives Clemson (8-3) a weekend series win over the Gamecocks (7-5), two games to one.

The Gamecocks led, 3-2, with two outs in the 9th inning before Clemson’s Seth Beer tied the game with a solo home run. Carolina left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th and both teams missed scoring chances in the 10th before the Tigers brought home the winning runs in the 11th.

Alex Schnell (1-0) got the Tigers out of a jam in the 10th inning and later closed out the 11th for the pitching win. Brandon Murray (0-1) suffered the loss after walking the leadoff batter in the 11th inning, which later scored.

TJ Hopkins was 3-for-5 and scored twice for the Gamecocks. Reed Rohlman and Chase Pinder each had two hits for Clemson, with Pinder driving home two runs.

The Gamecocks had their first real scoring chance in the 2nd inning, when Alex Destino led off with a double and LT Tolbert followed with a single. But starting pitcher Alex Eubanks got Clemson out of the jam unscathed, with a Chris Cullen warning-track lineout ending the inning.

Carolina took advantage of a pair of wild pitches to score first in the 3rd inning. Hopkins led off the frame with a single and came home on the second wild pitch of the inning by Eubanks. After three, the Gamecocks held a 1-0 lead.

Clemson answered with their first run in the top of the 4th. Andrew Cox ended an 11-pitch at-bat with an opposite field home run to left field. Carolina starter Adam Hill stranded two Clemson runners to end the frame, but Clemson was still able to even the score at 1-all.

The Tigers nearly took the lead in the 5th and might have if not for an incredible grab by Tolbert at second base. The sophomore robbed Clemson’s Pinder of a possible run-scoring hit, and he was able to pick off Beer at first for an inning-ending double play.

Hill would exit with one out in the Clemson half of the 6th inning and a runner on third. He was replaced by Colie Bowers, who was masterful in retiring the next two Tigers to keep the game even at 1-all.

Carolina would capitalize on that momentum with some two-out magic in the bottom of the 6th. Madison Stokes reached on an infield single and came home when Cullen laced a double down the left-field line. The ball landed just fair, and Stokes came all the way around from first to make it 2-1, Gamecocks.

Clemson tied it up in the top of the 7th with an unearned run. Rohlman reached on a Carolina throwing error. Two batters later, Pinder chased him home with a single to knot it up at 2-all.

The Gamecocks surged back ahead in the bottom of the 7th. Hopkins led off with a stand-up triple, which chased Eubanks from the game. The next batter, Matt Williams, doubled off of new pitcher Jacob Hennessy, and though he was stranded at second, the home side held a 3-2 lead.

Carolina was one strike from victory when Beer homered to deep right field in the 9th to tie the game at 3-3. The Gamecocks loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning, but the contest went to extra frames when Carolina was unable to push the winning run across.

Neither team scored despite putting multiple runners on in the 10th. Clemson’s Logan Davidson drew a walk to lead off the 11th inning, and after stealing second and advancing on a groundout he came home on a wild pitch. Later in the inning Pinder tallied an RBI single to make it 5-3. Carolina went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 11th to end the game.

GAME CHANGER

Beer’s game-tying home run came with a full count and two outs in the 9th inning.

KEY STAT

With his go-ahead double in the 7th inning, Williams extended his current hitting streak to 10 games.

NOTABLE

  • The three-hit day was the second this season for Hopkins.
  • Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Carolina’s Hill gave up one run and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings, and Clemson’s Eubanks allowed three runs in six innings.

QUOTING HEAD COACH CHAD HOLBROOK

“I’m proud of my team. I asked them before the game today to leave it all on the field, and they left everything they had. We’ve got a couple of guys sick who are struggling to stay in there, and they played with energy and enthusiasm. They played their guts out. Sometimes baseball can be cruel, and sometimes it can be exhilarating. We were on the cruel end of it today. It’s not by any fault of my players and the way they competed, the effort they brought. They tried their (hardest), and you’ve got to give credit to Clemson for a big swing of the bat with two outs and two strikes in the ninth. It gave them new life. We still tried our hardest to win. We didn’t hang our heads. We went out there with a chance to win and couldn’t get that big hit to fall. I am proud of my team for the way they handled themselves and the class they showed, how hard they played and (how) they represented this uniform the right way.”

UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS

The Gamecocks are back at Founders Park on Tuesday, when they host The Citadel. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

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