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April 7, 2009

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Watch the Game | Mack’s Walkoff Single

COLUMBIA, S.C. – DeAngelo Mack’s two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted South Carolina to a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over No. 20 Clemson on a chilly Tuesday evening at Carolina Stadium. The win marks Carolina’s sixth consecutive victory over the Tigers and ninth victory in the last 10 games vs. Clemson. Carolina is now 21-10 on the year while the loss drops Clemson to 20-11 for the season. Both teams meet again on Wednesday night at Clemson with first pitch at Doug Kingsmore Stadium scheduled for 7 p.m.

Trailing by a run in bottom half of the ninth, South Carolina mounted a rally against Clemson reliever Casey Harman. Pinch hitter Adam Matthews got it started with a base hit to left field to lead off the frame and pinch hitter Casey Rihn followed with a walk giving Carolina a pair of runners with no outs. Jackie Bradley, Jr. then did his job as he laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance both runners to second and third base. Clemson elected to intentionally walk Whit Merrifield that set the stage for Mack. The Gamecock outfielder, who also hit a game-winning homer earlier in the season at Clemson in a 3-1 win on Feb. 28, roped a 1-1 pitch for a RBI base hit to right field that scored both Matthews and Rihn and sealed a one-run victory for the Gamecocks.

Mack was 2-for-5 on the day with a homer and four RBI to lead Carolina at the plate. Mack was one of three Gamecocks with homers as Parker Bangs and Scott Wingo also added home runs on the evening. Clemson catcher John Nester went 2-for-4 with Ben Paulsen driving in two runs and Kyle Parker finishing with three RBI to lead the Tigers at the plate.

Carolina reliever Curtis Johnson earned the win after 2.1 scoreless innings of work to improve to 2-0 on the year. He allowed just one hit and struck out three batters. Harman suffered the loss and is 3-2 on the year. He allowed two runs on two hits in 0.1 inning of work with two walks as well.

We get to enjoy this one for about 15 minutes, then we get to get ready for them up there tomorrow night,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “It was a great game. We made some mistakes. They did too. We had a tough night defensively, but we hung in there and D-Mack comes up with a big hit for us. We both battled and thank goodness we came up big at the end. We’re very, very even (with them). Both of us had the same records coming in tonight. There have been a lot of close ones and we’ve had some bounces and I’m happy that it is what it is. It’s a great rivalry.”

The Tigers broke ahead 2-0 in the first inning with three straight runners reaching base with two outs. Jeff Schaus walked, Paulsen blooped a double to left field and both scored on Parker’s RBI single to right center.

That lead would be short-lived though as Carolina bounced back in the bottom half to score four runs. Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off with a RBI double to left center and scored on a RBI base hit off the bat of Whit Merrifield. That would be followed up by a two-run homer to right center by DeAngelo Mack. Mack blasted a 1-1 pitch from Sarratt for his ninth homer of the year and his first since March 17 vs. Davidson. After outs to Nick Ebert and Andrew Crisp, the Gamecocks got another home run, this one off the bat of Parker Bangs, who knocked a 2-2 pitch over the left centerfield wall.

A pair of Gamecock errors led to Clemson scoring two runs and tying the game at 4-4. Shortstop Bobby Haney had an errant throw to open the inning that allowed Addison Johnson to reach base. That was followed by a misplayed grounder by first baseman Nick Ebert on a ball hit by Jeff Schaus that gave the Tigers runners on second and third with no outs. Johnson would score on a RBI groundout by Ben Paulsen and Schaus would score on Kyle Parker’s RBI sacrifice fly to left field.

Clemson regained the lead in the fourth inning with a run against Brown. Eric Stolz singled with one out and Addison Johnson also reached on a base hit to give the Tigers a pair of runners. Carolina then went to the bullpen with left-hander Michael Roth, who issued a pair of walks to Jeff Schaus and Ben Paulsen that gave Clemson the 5-4 lead. Roth got out the bases loaded jam with a deep fly ball out to left field by Parker.

South Carolina would tie it up at 5-5 in the sixth inning as Scott Wingo drilled his second homer of the year, just clearing the wall in right field. Clemson would go ahead 6-5 in the eighth inning with another unearned run. Brad Miller reached base with a two-out single, stole second base and advanced to third as Chris Epps reached base on a fielding error by first baseman Nick Ebert. Miller would then score on a RBI base hit off the bat of Nester.

Wednesday’s game at Clemson will be broadcast live on the Gamecock Radio Network and at with Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody on the broadcast.