March 7, 2010
Baseball Post-Game Blog: Series Comes to a Close
Columbia, S.C. – Ninth ranked Clemson tallied 14 hits including five home runs on its way to a 19-6 victory over 15th ranked South Carolina on Sunday afternoon to win the rubber game of a three-game college baseball series. Clemson is 9-1 on the year while the loss drops South Carolina to 6-4 for the season. South Carolina resumes action on Tuesday evening hosting Valparaiso in a two-game set that concludes on Wednesday night. First pitch at Carolina Stadium is at 7 p.m. with live video broadcast on GamecocksOnline.com with the game also available on the Gamecock Radio Network.
Sunday’s game set a new attendance record at Carolina Stadium with 8,214 fans in Columbia. This was the first season in a new format for the South Carolina-Clemson series. Each team hosted a game with a third contest held this season at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. The total attendance for the three games was 21,665 for an average of 7,221 fans.
The Tigers broke ahead 8-3 through the first five innings and scored 11 runs in the final four frames to defeat the Gamecocks and earn a series victory. Chris Epps was 3-for-5 with a grand slam and five RBI and Phil Pohl also hit a grand slam. Mike Freeman, Addison Johnson and Richie Shaffer also homered for the Tigers. Epps and Freeman were each 3-for-6 with Wilson Boyd also collecting two hits. Clemson out-hit Carolina 14-10 in the contest. Nick Ebert finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI to lead the Gamecocks. Whit Merrifield also hit safely and now owns a 24-game hitting streak, one short of the school record 25 set by Greg Keatley in 1976.
Clemson starter Scott Weismann earned the win with six innings of work allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. He is 2-0 on the year. Carolina starter Tyler Webb lasted only 1.1 innings and allowed four runs on one hit with four walks and a strikeout. He is 0-1 for the season.
Clemson took advantage of Webb to go ahead 6-0 in the top of the second inning. Richie Shaffer drew a leadoff walk and John Nester and Jason Stolz each reached first base with one out on a walk and hit by pitch respectively. Chris Epps then delivered for the Tigers as he drove a 2-1 pitch from Webb over the centerfield wall for a grand slam to put the Tigers on the scoreboard. With reliever Steven Neff into the game, Clemson increased its lead to 5-0 on a solo home run by Jeff Schaus. The Tigers added one more run in the frame with a two-out RBI single by Wilson Boyd to score Kyle Parker.
Carolina came back in the bottom half of the second with an unearned run off of Weismann to cut the deficit to five runs. Nick Ebert walked with one out and Adam Matthews reached base on a fielding error by shortstop Brad Miller. The Gamecocks would then score as Adrian Morales ripped a two-out single down the left field line scoring Ebert.
Clemson came back with two runs in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead. South Carolina then struck back with a pair in the fifth inning with Ebert coming through with a two-run two-out triple off the wall in centerfield scoring Jeffery Jones and Kyle Enders cutting the deficit to five runs.
Clemson extended its lead to 11-3 in the sixth inning as Shaffer belted a two-out three-run homer. The Tigers added a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth. Jeff Schaus, Will Lamb and Epps each had RBIs. Scott Wingo would get the Gamecocks back on the board in the bottom of the eighth drilling a three-run homer off of reliever Alex Frederick. It was Wingo’s second home run of the season. Clemson completed the scoring in the top of the ninth with a five-run frame that featured Pohl’s grand slam to right field.