When South Carolina and Clemson get together in baseball, great games happen.
This was the story all weekend long.
The Gamecocks were able to win the series by taking games on Friday and Saturday before losing in walk-off fashion to Clemson on Sunday. It was an entertaining series for both teams but South Carolina is clearly the better team in this rivalry.
Here's a quick look at each game this past weekend:
- Friday - South Carolina's Michael Roth threw a quality start Friday night in Charleston to help USC beat Clemson 3-2 in a game that went into extra innings. Roth went 7.1 innings on the night giving up just one run while striking out seven batters. The Gamecocks scored twice in the 11th inning on two two-out RBI singles from Sean Sullivan and Connor Bright. South Carolina allowed a run to Clemson but a game-saving catch by Evan Marzilli saved the day and allowed USC to end up with the victory.
- Saturday - The bats came alive in the second game of the series as USC won this one by a score of 9-6. Adam Matthews added a three-run home run and LB Dantzler hit a solo shot as well. Dantzler is leading the team in home runs with three on the season. The impressive performance of the day was Evan Beal. The freshman picked up his first win of the year after coming in during the 5th inning and going on a roll. He retired nine in a row and had five strikeouts in four innings of work. Clemson made it interesting in the 9th by adding two runs to get it to 9-6 but Nolan Belcher came in and saved his second game of the season.
- Sunday - South Carolina had the lead for pretty much the entire game before allowing Clemson the opportunity to work in a few runs in the final two innings. Gamecocks starter Colby Holmes had a short outing pitching only 3.2 innings and Forrest Koumas was charged with the loss giving up three runs in 1.1 innings of work at the end of the game. South Carolina had a few chances to add an insurance run in the 9th inning but failed to advance Christian Walker past second base with just one out. Grayson Greiner was the offensive star of the day with two home runs on Sunday for his first two home run game of his young career.
If you are a fan of college baseball then this was the series for you. It had comebacks, strong pitching performances, big hits and anything else you could ask for. These two teams have a strong hatred for each other and the magnitude of the series has become even bigger than it has with recent success by both teams.
South Carolina picked up their first loss of the weekend and are playing well despite the youth movement that has been installed by Coach Ray Tanner. This is a baseball team that should get better with time so the fact that they can handle their business against a Top 25 team like this early in the season should bode well for the Gamecocks.
The next game for South Carolina is UNC Asheville this Wednesday at 7:00 pm at Carolina Stadium. Freshman pitcher Joel Seddon is expected to get the start for the Gamecocks.