Overview: Only a handful of runs and even more emotion -- nothing new in what is, arguably, college baseball's best rivalry.
Had Jon McGibbon not been called for runner's interference on a double-play ball off the bat of Spencer Kieboom, Clemson would have scored the game's first run in the second inning.
Instead, second base umpire and crew chief Jim Garman sent Phil Pohl back to third and Jay Baum to second.
South Carolina starter Michael Roth, who loaded the bases by allowing a single and back-to-back walks, worked out of the jam unscathed.
The Gamecocks lit the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Adam Matthews.
A two-run double by Steve Wilkerson and an RBI single by Thomas Brittle gave the Tigers a 3-2 seventh inning lead.
Clemson tacked on another with a solo homer by Brad Felder in the eighth. With runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh, Felder made an impressive, twisting catch at the warning track, to preserve the Tigers' lead.
Christian Walker cut the lead to 4-3 with an RBI double in the eighth.
South Carolina nearly won the game in the ninth when Joey Pankake hit an RBI single up the middle. T.J. Costen scored the game-tying run from third. Chase Vergason, who was thrown out at home by Brittle, was tagged after a bang-bang, head-first slide around Spencer Kieboom.
Kevin Brady, who was credited with the loss, was brought out of the bullpen for Jonathan Meyer in the ninth. Meyer allowed the first two South Carolina batters to reach in the ninth.
Starter Daniel Gossett was the Tigers' pitcher of record after giving up two runs on four hits with eight strike outs and three walks in seven innings of work.
Turning point: There certainly are plenty of choices. We'll start with:
A-Garman's interference call on McGibbon in the second
B-Felder preserving the Clemson lead with an impressive warning track catch with two runners on in the seventh
C-The play at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning
Key player: Not only did Pankake tie the game with a single in the ninth, but his high throw on a would-be double-play in the seventh allowed Clemson to score the go-ahead run. The freshman shortstop from Easley also scored the game-winning run.
At the plate, Pankake went 2-for-6 with an RBI and a run.
Key stat: Seven innings from Gossett.
Even though he's only a freshman, Gossett could have the best stuff of any pitcher on the Clemson staff. He out-dueled South Carolina starter Michael Roth, who's been one of the most effective pitchers in the country over the last few years.
Gossett's impressive outing allowed Jack Leggett to avoid an early call to the bullpen.
Despite the 8 1/3 innings of work by the Tigers' relievers so far this weekend, the group is relatively fresh -- thanks, in part, to David Haselden lasting four innings on Friday.
Miscellaneous: Leggett named Dominic Leone the starter for Sunday's 12 o'clock re-match with Coastal Carolina.
Up next: After an emotional, extra-inning slugfest with South Carolina, Clemson will have a quick-turnaround.
A win over Coastal will push Clemson into a 4 o'clock re-match with South Carolina.
BREAKDOWN: USC 5 Clemson 4
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