March 4, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Brady Thomas, Christian Walker and Scott Wingo each tallied two-run homers and on the back of junior left-hander Michael Roth’s quality start, South Carolina erased an early three-run deficit to defeat Clemson 6-3 on Friday evening in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks are now 8-0 on the year while the loss drops Clemson to 6-2 for the season. Game two of the series is set for Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. with first pitch at 4:15 p.m.
Roth, who hurled a complete game vs. the Tigers last year at the College World Series, was effective again as he allowed three runs, all unearned, on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks in seven innings pitched. Gamecock sophomore right-hander Matt Price hurled 1.2 perfect innings of relief and struck out the side in the top of the ninth for his third save of the year. Clemson starter Scott Weismann suffered the loss and is now 2-1 on the year. He went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
Clemson broke ahead 3-0 in the top of the second inning with three unearned runs off of Roth. Richie Shaffer opened up the frame with a leadoff walk and the Tigers got their second base runner as John Hinson reached base on a fielding error on shortstop Peter Mooney. With two outs and runners on second and third base, Phil Pohl ripped a double down the left field line to score both runners. He would then score on a RBI single up the middle off the bat of Jason Stolz.
South Carolina answered in the bottom half of the second as Brady Thomas delivered with a two-run homer to cut the Clemson lead to 3-2. After Christian Walker led off with a hit by pitch, Thomas roped his first homer of the year over the right field wall.
It would remain that way until the bottom of the fifth when Walker delivered with his third home run of the season. With two outs and Evan Marzilli on second base, Walker drilled an 0-1 pitch from Weismann over the left-centerfield wall giving the Gamecocks a one-run lead.
Roth faced a moment of truth in the bottom of the sixth as the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs. Facing Jason Stolz and with a 3-2 count, Roth was able to induce a strikeout against the Tiger hitter bringing the packed house on to its feet as the Gamecocks remained ahead by a run. After Richie Shaffer led off the top of the eighth inning with a hit by pitch, the Gamecock bullpen battled as Bryan Harper came in to strike out John Hinson with Price relieving Harper then and getting Spencer Kieboom to roll into a 6-3 double play keeping the Gamecocks ahead 4-3.
Carolina received some much needed insurance in the bottom of the eighth then as Wingo drilled a two-run homer to right field to give Carolina a three-run cushion.
South Carolina finished the evening with a 9-7 advantage in hits. Walker, Thomas, Marzilli and Jake Williams all had two hits apiece to lead Carolina. Walker now has a hitting streak up to 13 games that began last year. Phil Pohl went 2-for-3 to lead Clemson.