Clemson 6 USC 5 Quoteboard

CLEMSON - On the brink of a sweep at the hands of South Carolina, Clemson battled back on Sunday to salvage a win in the three-city, three-game series.

"We just kept grinding," said Jon McGibbon, who scored the game-winning run. "We're a fighting team and guys never let down."

Head coach Jack Leggett believes that is his team's best attribute.

"We've got a little grit. We've got a little toughness. We're going to play all nine innings. That's the thing I'm most proud of," Leggett said. "We overcame a very tough second inning today where we didn't play very well."

In the second, Adam Matthews singled in the game's first run before Grayson Greiner smacked a three-run homer into the leftfield seats. All four of the runs were unearned by Kevin Pohle, who pitched five innings in his first start of the season.

Clemson began to chip away in the next half-inning when Thomas Brittle drove in Joe Costigan with a sacrifice fly.

Richie Shaffer, the Tigers' MVP of the series, led-off the third with a solo homer. Four batters later, Costigan plated Phil Pohl with a single, to cut the score to 4-3.

Greiner's solo homer in the sixth upped the score to 5-3.

Pohl tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth, which Shaffer led-off with a walk.

McGibbon started ninth with a single, advanced to second on a bunt by Brittle then scored the go-ahead after Steve Wilkerson singled him in for the win.

"It's huge for us," McGibbon said. "If we keep playing like this all year-round, we're going to like where we end up at the end of the season."

The game winner…
"I was just trying to get a knock, get a victory for our team." - Wilkerson

"We did some good things in the last inning. Got the lead-off man on with McGibbon, got the bunt to move him over and setup Wilkerson. He did what he had to do." - Leggett

"He threw a good pitch. I just tried to get a good swing on it and put it in play." - Wilkerson

The 3-6-3 double-play in the top of the ninth…
"I just stuck my glove in there and got the double-play down. It was a big play for us, to get things going." - McGibbon

"Huge play -- I was yelling to go home with the ball. I thought we had Matthews at the plate. His reaction, fielded it cleanly, hit [Jason Stolz] right in the chest and recovered enough to get back. That was a huge play for us." - Leggett

"Coach [Dan Pepicelli] came out the play before that and said…we were going to get a ground ball double-play on the next batter." - Scott Firth

McGibbon's turnaround at the plate…
"I definitely needed this. I know I haven't been playing the way I should be. I think today opened it up for me. I think I'll be locked in all season long." - McGibbon

"We want him to get feeling confident. We'll see what we do from here. I'm just glad he had a good game for us. He's a very competitive kid. He's been hard on himself." - Leggett

Firth in relief…
"I was able to locate my fastball pretty well, especially that ninth inning. I was able to locate my fastball a lot better. That's the basis for everything. If I can get ahead and be able to throw my breaking ball, my slider, my curveball for strikes when I wanted to, that was huge, to be able to keep those guys off balance a little bit." - Firth

"He made some big pitches there with men on first and second base at the end there, so I was real proud of how those guys pitched as well." - Leggett Top Stories