In front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans, third-ranked South Carolina rallied from five runs down in the fifth inning to score eight unanswered runs and defeated 11th ranked Clemson 9-6 on Friday night at Carolina Stadium. Eight of nine position starters tallied at least one hit in the victory. The Gamecocks improve to 8-0 on the year while the loss drops the Tigers to 6-2.
Junior catcher Grayson Greiner went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a career- high five RBI. Kyle Martin and Max Schrock each added a pair of hits and scored two runs.
Trailing 6-1 with no outs and runners on second and third in the top of the fifth inning, the Gamecocks escaped further damage as starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery battled back to strike out the next three batters of the inning to keep the Gamecocks within five runs. In the bottom of the fifth, the Gamecocks then caught a break as Joey Pankake reached base on a throwing error by the Clemson third baseman Weston Wilson. Kyle Martin followed with a single to right and Connor Bright drew a walk to load the bases and set the stage for Grayson Greiner. Greiner sent a 2-0 pitch from Clemson starter Daniel Gossett, soaring over the wall in left field for the second grand slam home run of his career and his third homer of the season cutting the deficit to one run.
South Carolina grabbed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. A pair of singles off the bats of Elliott Caldwell and Max Schrock and a walk to Martin loaded the bases. Bright drove in Caldwell as he reached base on a fielder's choice and Schrock would then score the go-ahead run on Greiner's RBI single.
A solo home run by Tanner English increased the lead to a pair of runs in the seventh inning and the Gamecocks benefited from a pair of wild pitches to make it 9-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Junior right-hander Cody Mincey earned his first win of the season after pitching 2.2 scoreless inning of relief. Mincey allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out four batters. Junior right-hander Joel Seddon added a perfect inning of relief to close it out for the Gamecocks and pick up his second save of the year. Clay Bates suffered the loss for the Tigers after pitching 0.2 inning and allowing two runs, both earned, on two hits while striking out one batter.
South Carolina had 13 hits for the evening. Along with Greiner's three hits, Schrock, Martin and Marcus Mooney added two as well. Tyler Slaton and Garrett Boulware each had two hits to lead Clemson at the plate.
The Gamecocks had an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. A RBI single up the middle off the bat of Martin scored Schrock, who reached base on a fielding error by the Clemson catcher Garret Boulware.
The Tigers evened the score in the top of the second. Steven Duggar led off with a single through the right side, advanced to second when Jon McGibbon drew a walk and came home on Weston Wilson's single to left field.
Clemson took the lead with a four-run inning in the top of the fourth. Steve Wilkerson drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on Jay Baum's sacrifice bunt. Another walk to McGibbon and a base hit by Tyler Slaton would load the bases for the Tigers. Tyler Krieger then knocked a 1-0 pitch to deep left center for a three-run double. Boulware drove in Krieger for the final run of the inning with a double to left field.
In the bottom of the fifth the Tigers tacked on one more to take a 6-1 lead. Duggar drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on Wilkerson's single and was able to score when Baum laid down a bunt and Montgomery's throw went past third base.
South Carolina starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits in 5.1 innings with nine strikeouts and five walks. Clemson starter Daniel Gossett went 4.2 innings and allowed five runs, three earned, on seven hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.
The series continues on Saturday with the Reedy River Rivalry Game from Fluor Field in Greenville with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. WMYA My40 will serve as the flagship station, airing the game in the Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, and stations in Charleston (WTAT), Columbia (WOLO), Myrtle Beach/Florence (WPDE), Charlotte (WCCB), Augusta (WJBF) and Savannah (WJCL) will also broadcast the game to their respective markets. ESPN3 will also stream the game, it is subject to blackout. It can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG.