Clemson scored four runs in the fourth inning to overcome a 1-0 deficit and went on to a 10-2 win over USC Saturday at Segra Park in front of a crowd of 9070, a record for a regular season USC-Clemson game and the fourth largest crowd in Segra Park history.
With the win, the Tigers have clinched the best of three series which will end Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. It’s the first time since 2002 that Clemson has won the first two games of the annual series.
The Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but came unglued in the bottom of the fourth. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out against Gamecock starter Noah Hall. He was lifted for Cade Austin who promptly tied the game with a wild pitch. Chad Fairey then gave the Tigers the lead with a two-run single. One out later, Benjamin Blackwell singled to score an unearned run and the Tigers were up 4-1.
Clemson added another unearned run in the fifth and scored a run in the sixth on a wild pitch. Up 6-1, the Tigers put the game away with a three-run seventh with two bases loaded walks by Patrick Coyne and a sacrifice fly.
Clemson finished with 10 hits off five USC pitchers. Cooper Ingle, Bryar Hawkins and Max Wagner had two hits each. Chad Fairey and Benjamin Blackwell each drove in two.
Four Clemson pitchers scattered seven hits while striking out five and walking just one. Starter Nick Hoffman earned the win to move to 2-0. He pitched the first five innings and gave up five hits and an unearned run, the first unearned run allowed by Clemson this season.
The Gamecocks are short on pitching and it showed as the game wore on. Hall allowed three runs on three hits in his 3.1 innings of work. The bullpen yielded seven hits and seven runs, only four of which were earned. Gamecock pitchers walked nine and uncorked six wild pitches. And they hit a batter. Clemson scored four of its runs off wild pitches and walks. Hall took the loss in his first decision of the season.
Clemson improves to 10-0 and the Gamecocks fall to 7-3. Nick Clayton is set to start for Clemson Sunday. USC has not announced their starter.