Fourth-ranked South Carolina broke open a tie game in the sixth inning and held on to defeat Clemson 6-3 Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in front of 5,617 fans. The win improved the Gamecocks' record to 14-1, while the Tigers fell to 5-6.
Aaron Rawl got the win for the Gamecocks and improved to 4-1. The senior right-hander pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. Josh Cribb lost his first game of the season for the Tigers, falling to 1-1. Jason Fletcher earned the save for South Carolina, giving up only one run over 3.1 innings pitched.
Brendan Winn led the way for the Gamecocks going 2-4 with a home run, a double and three RBI's. Kris Harvey and Taylor Harbin each had two hits, including run-scoring doubles for Clemson.
Clemson opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Harvey hit a double to left field on a 2-2 pitch with two outs that scored Harbin from first base. Harbin was able to score when Gamecock left-fielder Davy Gregg could not field the ball cleanly at the wall, allowing Harbin to slide in just before the relay throw.
South Carolina answered in the second. Michael Campbell led off the inning with a double to left-center and scored on Winn's sharp single up the middle. Cribb escaped further damage when he struck out Cory Vanderhook and forced Neil Giesler into an inning-ending double play.
Chris Brown hit a two out home run in the top of the third that went over the foul pole in left field to give the Gamecocks their first lead of the day, 2-1.
The Gamecocks threatened in the top of the fifth when three Cribb walks loaded the bases with two outs. However, the Tiger starter was able to get out of his own jam when he struck out Steve Pearce for the third time in the game.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Stan Widmann led off with a single to center and advanced to second on Brad Chalk's sacrifice bunt. Herman Demmink followed with an infield single, and with two outs Harbin doubled to left field on a 1-2 pitch to score Widmann. Travis Storrer walked to load the bases but Rawl was able to record a strike out to end the Clemson rally.
In the top of the sixth, Jon Willard led off with a single and scored on Brendan Winn's homerun to left-center with one out. It was Winn's eighth homer of the year and ended the day for Cribb. Robert Rohrbaugh came on in relief and recorded two outs to get the Tigers out of the inning.
South Carolina scored again in the seventh inning. Campbell had a run-scoring double with one out, and Vanderhook walked with the bases loaded to give the Gamecocks their biggest lead of the day, 6-2.
Storrer hit his second home run of the season with two outs in the seventh, a solo blast to left field that cut the South Carolina lead to three.
Neither team threatened over the final two innings and Fletcher recorded his first save of the season for the Gamecocks who won the first of four games between the two rivals in 2005.
The two teams will play again Sunday in Columbia at 1:30 pm.
Tigers Fall to South Carolina Saturday
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