Following a weekend sweep at the hands of UCF, Clemson entered Tuesday’s game against USC Upstate looking for redemption. But what the Tigers got was another bitter pill to swallow as Upstate had its way with Erik Bakich’s club in a 6-3 victory at Greenville’s Fluor Field.
Clemson (4-4) opened the scoring when Will Taylor launched a solo homer over Fluor Field’s version of the Green Monster in the second inning. The Tigers added another run in the second when Blake Wright drew a bases-loaded walk. Clemson couldn’t deliver the big blow, however, leaving the bases full. That would become a theme as the Tigers went on to strand 11 runners in the game.
USC Upstate (7-2) took the lead in the fourth on a pair of two-run doubles from Noah Rabon and Cole Caruso. Leading 4-3, the Spartans put two more runs on the board in the seventh against Reed Garris and Ethan Darden. USC Upstate’s ace reliever Noah Sullivan held Clemson scoreless over the final three innings, fanning three and inducing a hope-killing 4-6-3 double play from Cam Cannarella in the ninth. After surrendering the big fourth inning, Clemson reliever Nick Hoffman was saddled with the loss.
There’s no shame in dropping a game to one of the Big South’s top teams, but it comes at a bad time for Clemson, now in the midst of a four-game losing streak with undefeated South Carolina on deck. The Tigers and Gamecocks renew their rivalry at 6 p.m., Friday. Game 1 will take place at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Game 2 is at Greenville’s Fluor Field and Game 3 is at Founders Park in Columbia.