For the second straight day, Andrew Eyster delivered the walk-off hit for USC as the Gamecocks downed Clemson 8-7 Sunday afternoon at Founders Park in Columbia. His double in the bottom of the 11th Saturday was the decisive blow in a 3-2 win in Greenville. Sunday, Eyster singled to right center with two outs scoring Brady Allen from second with the series clinching run.
This was a back and forth game with the momentum switching regularly from dugout to dugout. Clemson took a 3-1 lead in the top of the 5th on a two run double by Jonathan French. The Gamecocks responded with a four spot in the bottom of the inning thanks to a solo homer by Braylen Wimmer and a three run shot by Wes Clarke, his second home run of the game and 8th of the season.
Trailing 5-3, Clemson had its own four run frame in the top of the 7th. Alex Urban had an RBI single, pinch-hitter Regan Reid a two run single, and pinch-hitter Max Wagner bunted in the final run, and the Tigers took a 7-5 lead. But again, the Gamecocks responded to tie the game with a David Mendham RBI single and an RBI single by Eyster.
After that 51 minute seventh inning, both teams went down quietly in the 8th setting the stage for a dramatic 9th inning. Clemson had a chance in the top of the inning. Leadoff hitter James Parker reached on an error by centerfielder Noah Myers. With one out, Urban singled with Parker moving to second. Reid then slapped a ground ball into the second base hole. Wimmer made the play on it and fired to second just in time to get Urban for the second out. With runners on the corners, Wagner flied to left to end the threat.
That gave the Gamecocks the chance to end it, and just like Saturday, they had the top of the order coming up. Allen led off with a walk. With one out, Clarke walk pushing Allen to second. After David Mendham struck out for the second out, Allen ripped a 1-0 pitch into the gap between right and center for the game winner.
Freshman Will Sanders, who got the last two outs in the 9th, picked up the win. He’s got both wins in the series for the Gamecocks. Evan Estridge took the loss.
Clarke, Eyster and Wimmer each had three hits for USC. Clarke raised his average to .636. He also has the eight home runs and 17 RBIs thru the first six games of the season. Urban led Clemson with three hits. Parker had two and is batting .500 on the season.
The Gamecocks improve to 6-0 and will play at Winthrop Tuesday night. Clemson falls to 3-2 and will host East Tennessee State Tuesday night. Game three of the series will be at Clemson May 11th.