Tre Kirklin emphatically hits home plate following his second inning three run homer (David Hood/TigerNet)

The only saving grace for Clemson in the 8-2 season ending loss to the Gamecocks in the Oxford, MS Regional Sunday afternoon was that it was the Jacksonville State Gamecocks and not the USC Gamecocks. Not that that lessens the pain of a fourth straight postseason without a Super Regional for Monte Lee. The Tigers finish their season at 35-26.

Lee started senior righty Brooks Crawford in hopes that he could find something from his past. His present hadn’t been all that good as he entered the game with a 1-4 record and a 6.28 ERA. Crawford didn’t have it. He allowed seven hits and six runs and was pulled in the top of the fourth. No Clemson starter in the regional went deeper in a game than the 4th inning.

The second inning was Crawford’s undoing, and the damage came with two outs. A single up the middle scored a runner from second. A double put runners at second and third, and a homer cleared the bases for a 4-0 lead.

The Tigers bounced back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, one on a Kyle Wilkie homer and the other on a Bryce Teodosio single. And that was that for the Clemson offense.

Time and again the Tiger hitters failed to come thru with runners on base. They loaded the bases in the third with one out but Sam Hill hit a line drive to the third baseman who doubled up Wilkie at second to end the inning. In the fifth, the Tigers had 2nd and 3rd with two outs and Hall flied to left for the third out. And in the seventh, they loaded the bases with 2 outs only to have Jordan Greene pop out down the right field line.

Overall, Clemson stranded 14 baserunners on the day and was only 2-10 with runners in scoring position.

Jacksonville State starting pitcher Dylan Hathcock pitched into the fifth allowing the two runs and six hits. Corley Woods and Michael Gilliland followed suit and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard. Their offense kept building the lead with two runs in the fifth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth.

Jacksonville State will play Ole Miss tonight needing to win that game and one tomorrow to advance to the Super Regional.

Clemson postgame press conference (Monte Lee, Grayson Byrd, Kyle Wilkie)

Clemson Final Stats