Tigers take game one

CLEMSON – Wilson Boyd admits that he's not quite where he'd like to be at the plate eight games into his senior season, but a two-out, go-ahead RBI single in Friday night's 4-3 win over No. 15 South Carolina could be a nice place to start.

BOX: Clemson 4 South Carolina 3

Heading into play Friday night, he was batting .238 with one homerun and three RBIs.

"It's still not there with the bat. It's just a hair away. I've been out here hitting and the timing is just off," Boyd said, "just a little bit."

The Gamecocks intentionally walked junior rightfielder Kyle Parker to get to Boyd, who finished the night 1-for-4 with the game winning RBI.

With Chris Epps standing on third, Boyd fouled a bunt for hit attempt up the third baseline on the first pitch of the at-bat. Two pitches later, with an adjusted approach against sophomore lefty Michael Roth, Boyd bounced a seeing-eye single between short and third.

"You've got to bury your front shoulder and focus on six-hole, opposite field-up the middle—that's what I was doing up there for that at-bat," Boyd said.

Coach Jack Leggett felt "pretty comfortable" with the lefty, lefty matchup.

"We actually hit lefties pretty good as a team, even though we have a lot of left-handers in the lineup…it doesn't really bother us if there's a right-handed pitcher or a left-handed pitcher," he said. The win keeps the No. 9 Tigers perfect this season (8-0) while the Gamecocks drop to 5-3.

With no outs and runners on first and second in the sixth, sophomore David Haselden entered for his third relief appearance, going four innings, giving up no hits and only one walk.

"He's just an in control, level-headed pitcher for us. He's just consistent, so you kind of know what you're going to get every time," Leggett said.

Haselden felt good about the location of his fastball with the slider working too. He was perfect through 3 1/3 innings before walking Adrian Morales in the ninth.

"I was just not trying to think about (being perfect)," Haselden said. "I was just trying to execute the pitch coach (Dan Pepicelli) was calling."

After watching batting practice and seeing a pair of first inning solo homeruns from Chris Epps and Jeff Schaus, Leggett wondered if the game would take a turn in a direction he hadn't anticipated.

"The ball was really carrying. I thought, this might be a different game than I anticipated," Leggett said. "Both kids settled in, they pitched well. It shows you good pitching neutralizes good hitting."

South Carolina evened the score in the third on a Kyle Enders double. Enders scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to right field in the sixth. Later in the inning, Jason Stolz tied the game on a two-out single, plating Brad Miller.

Clemson junior Casey Harman gave up eight hits and three earned runs over five innings, struck out five and walked two.

"We're glad to have won this ball game. Now, we have to refocus and go up to Greenville and hopefully have a good game tomorrow," Leggett said.

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