Pinch hitter Jake Williams drilled a one strike pitch from reliever Joseph Moorefield for a three run homer in the bottom of the 7th to spark USC to a 5-4 win over Clemson Tuesday night at Fluor Field in Greenville. With the victory, the Gamecocks win the series two games to one.
The Gamecocks trailed 1-0 going into the 7th. Alex Frederick relieved David Haselden for the Tigers and walked leadoff batter Christian Walker. He was sacrificed to second and went to third on a line drive single to right by Adrian Morales. Peter Mooney got the run home with a high hopping single off first baseman Richie Shaffer’s glove.
Jack Leggett then went to his bullpen again and brought in lefthander Moorefield, the winning pitcher for Clemson Sunday night. Ray Tanner countered with the righthanded hitting Williams and he deposited the first pitch he saw over the left centerfield fence. It was the first home run for Williams as a Gamecock. He sat out last season after transferring from Wofford.
The Gamecocks added to their lead in the 8th on an RBI single by Christian Walker to make it a 5-1 game going to the ninth.
But the Tigers would not go down quietly. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no one out and Forest Koumas was pulled for Michael Roth. John Hinson greeted Roth with an RBI single to make it a 5-2 game. Matt Price relieved Roth and got Spencer Kieboom to roll into a 4-6-3 double play. A run scored on the play and it was 5-3. Will Lamb then legged out an RBI triple and the Tigers had the tieing run on third with two outs. But Price got pinch hitter Jon McGibbon looking at a third strike to close out the game and pick up his fourth save of the season.
The Tigers got on the board first with one swing of the bat by Richie Shaffer. He drilled an Adam Westmoreland pitch over the center field wall to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the fourth. It was his 2nd homer of the season. That would be all the scoring until the Gamecock rally in the 8th.
Westmoreland started for USC and went 5.1 innings allowing 4 hits and the one run. Haselden started for Clemson and pitched six innings of three hit ball. Forest Koumas picked up his first career victory for the Gamecocks. He pitched 2.1 innings allowing three runs on three hits. Alex Frederick takes the loss for Clemson.
Williams earned the Tom Price Award as USC’s MVP for the series. Kieboom won the Bob Bradley Award as Clemson’s MVP.
USC improves to 9-1 and will play Davidson at home Wednesday night. Clemson falls to 7-3 and will play Wednesday night at Western Carolina.