The rain held off long enough for game three of the USC-Clemson series to be played, but it did rain runs for the Gamecocks’ offense as they ended a four series losing streak to the Tigers with an 14-3 win at Founders Park in Columbia. The runs are the most the Gamecocks have scored against the Tigers since a 21 run outburst on the same date in 2001.
USC spotted Clemson a 1-0 lead in the first. Considering the team that scored first in the first two games went on to lose, that wasn’t a good sign for the Tigers. And the Gamecocks drove that point home in the bottom of the inning with five runs. TJ Hopkins had a two run double and Luke Berryhill later delivered a three run homer.
The Gamecocks made it 6-1 in the second with a Jacob Olson sacrifice fly, then blew the game open in the fourth with five more runs thanks to a pair of two-run homers by Hopkins and Berryhill. Hopkins homered in all three games of the series.
Gamecock starter Reid Morgan settled down after the first and held the Tigers to eight hits and three runs until coming out after his 100th pitch in the seventh with two outs and a runner on second. Cam Tringali replaced Morgan and got the final out of the inning with a strikeout. Morgan earned the win and is 2-0 on the season.
Clemson starter Justin Wrobleski only lasted a third of an inning and was charged with five runs on five hits. His record falls to 0-2.
The Gamecocks finished with 17 hits. Seven of the starters had at least one hit and six of them had multiple hits with Hopkins having a four hit day. He won the Tom Price award as the Gamecocks MVP. For the series he hit .467 with 3 honers and 9 RBIs. Sam Hall won the Bob Bradley award as Clemson’s MVP. He batted .500 with a homer, 3 RBIs,, 4 runs scored, 3 stolen bases and 9 total bases.
The series attracted sellout crowds at all three stops with total attendance over 21,000 fans for the series.
The Gamecocks improved to 9-2 and with the loss and the Tigers fall to 8-3.
Mark Kingston postgame press conference
Gamecock players TJ Hopkins, Reid Morgan and Luke Berryhill
Monte Lee postgame interview