Gamecocks finish weekend sweep of Tigers

Catcher Trent Kline had struggled all day. His lone single in the second inning was erased as he tried to steal second base and was thrown out. But all of his struggles disappeared when Kline smoked a ball under the glove of Clemson's shortstop in the bottom of the ninth inning, bringing home the game winning run to help USC beat their rivals for the second day in row by a 3-2 margin.



"I haven't been swinging the bat that well lately, but you just play the game, let the pieces fall where they may," Kline said.

After a 12-0 drubbing of the Tigers on Saturday in Clemson, the Gamecocks returned to Columbia for a match-up between USC (10-1) starter Mike Cisco and Clemson (7-3) starter Ryan Hinson.

"It was a duel out there," USC coach Ray Tanner said. "It was just a classic pitcher's duel. In this day and age that's pretty good. "

After the first inning, Hinson locked down and didn't allow the Gamecock bats to get in rhythm. His counterpart, Cisco, pitched a perfect game up to the fifth inning, when Tiger Andy D'Alessio got an infield hit.

That pitching duel lasted until the seventh inning when Cisco yielded his only run of the game to tie things at 1-1. Cisco was pulled for Wynn Pelzer, who struck out the first batter he faced.

"He was very, very good," Tanner said of Cisco. "You're always hoping he'll be that good. I thought he was a little bit extra today."

The Tigers took their only lead of the series thus far in the eighth inning, after Lonnie Chisenhall committed a two base error that would result in Clemson going up 2-1. Carolina tied things up in the bottom half of the inning when designated hitter Phil Disher nailed a double to bring home Chisenhall, but Justin Smoak was thrown out at home to end the inning.

"You've got to take a chance in that situation," Tanner said. "Smoak's not the fleetest of foot, but they had to execute a play."

The 2-2 tie carried through the top of the ninth as Gamecock reliever Will Atwood managed to force a groundout, flyout, and strikeout to end the Tigers chances.

With Darnell drawing a walk, Stephen Reinhold sacrifice bunted him over to second, and Jon Willard was walked to put two on. That was when Kline hit the ball past Tiger shortstop Taylor Harbin for the game winner.

"I was actually looking for a fastball, but I got a 3-1 slider over the middle of the plate," Kline said. "I was just looking for something out over the middle of the plate, and he gave it to me."

Aside from the rivalry, the game also featured a tribute to longtime USC groundskeeper and baseball stadium namesake Sarge Frye, making the win extra special for Tanner.

"That was just a tremendous college baseball game. Sarge would've been proud," Tanner said. "Its great to win anytime you play against your arch rival, but especially a weekend like this with a tribute to Sarge Frye and his family."

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