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March 5, 2010

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Post-Game Blog: Believe the Hype

South Carolina vs. Clemson: Game 2 Preview

CLEMSON, SC – Wilson Boyd’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted ninth ranked Clemson to a 4-3 win over 15th ranked South Carolina on Friday evening in non-conference action at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. South Carolina’s record drops to 5-3on the year while Clemson improves to 8-0 for the season. The two teams meet again on Saturday in game two of the series, this time on a neutral site at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.

Tied at 3-3 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the Tigers got things started with a leadoff walk to Chris Epps. After a sacrifice bunt, Epps would advance to third with one out on a passed ball. Gamecock reliever Michael Roth battled and induced a strikeout against Jeff Schaus to get the second out of the inning. After an intentional walk to Kyle Parker put runners on the corners, it was Boyd’s turn for Clemson as he bounced a high chopper through the left side into left field to score Epps and give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.

Clemson reliever David Haselden earned the win after hurling four scoreless innings of relief with just one walk allowed and three strikeouts. He also did not give up a hit. Gamecock reliever Michael Roth suffered the loss and is now 0-1 on the year. He allowed one run on one hit in one inning of work with two walks and a strikeout.

The Tigers broke ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning with a pair of solo home runs. Chris Epps led off the frame as he knocked a 1-0 pitch from Cooper just over the wall in left field to give Clemson the first lead of the game. With one out, Jeff Schaus followed as he ripped the first pitch he saw from Cooper over the right centerfield wall.

Kyle Enders would tie the game up in the top of the third inning with a two-out double to score Whit Merrifield and Jackie Bradley Jr. The Gamecocks got things going with Merrifield reaching base on a one-out infield single followed by a base hit to left center by Bradley. With two outs and runners on the corners, Enders laced a 2-1 pitch from Harman down the right field line to score both runners and even the game at two apiece.

South Carolina grabbed its first lead of the game in the sixth inning. Kyle Enders led off with a double and Nick Ebert walked to give Carolina a pair of runners with no outs. That ended the game for Clemson starter Casey Harman, who was replaced by right-handed reliever David Haselden. Robert Beary would get a sacrifice bunt off to advance the runners and Adrian Morales lined a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Enders and giving the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead.

Harman’s line ended up at five-plus innings, eight hits and three runs with five strikeouts and two walks.

The Tigers would tie it in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out RBI single courtesy of Jason Stolz. Brad Miller would walk with one out and score on Stolz base hit through the left side of the infield.

Carolina starter Blake Cooper worked 6.2 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in the no-decision.