For the second day in a row, Clemson lost the one run walk-off, and on the second day it was Andrew Eyster who produced hit the match winner for South Carolina.
Eyster’s two-out RBI single to center-right in bottom ninth gave South Carolina an 8-7 win on Saturday at Founder’s Park. The victory secured the Gamecocks season series for the second time in the last three seasons.
Ty Olenchuk started for Clemson and for the second week in a row produced impressive performances. Freshmen allow 2 hits on 4 hits at 4.1 IP, while striking 6 hits and not running.
The Tigers scored the first goal getting a run over the first of the RBI double by James Parker. South Carolina will tie him third on a solo homerun by Wes Clark, his first long ball of two on the day. The second was a two-run shot in the fifth set that put the Gamecocks 5-3 up.
“We can overtake him (Clark),” said head coach Monte Lee. “We took him two hits in a few strokes and we didn’t execute two hits at him. I thought that was key. We couldn’t get rid of him when we held him down.”
Clemson would have led 7-5 in the seventh set, finishing four runs with just three singles, but South Carolina answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, tying the score at seven.
“Not throwing as well as we wanted out of the bullpen,” said Lee. “The first two players out didn’t make the pair play there in the seventh inning against us, but good teams like South Carolina take advantage when you make a mistake.”
The Tigers have a chance at the top of the ninth half. Parker made the mistake of starting the innings and one batter later, the new singles winner Alex Urban gave the Clemson runners first and second with a one-time exit.
Regan Reid would then make the winger’s choice, putting the runner in the corner two behind, but Max Wagner then flew to the right to end the threat.
“They came out on top today, but it was a tough defeat for us,” said Lee. “So, we have to get well, get healthy, and you know, we’ll be fine.”
Clemson has dropped to 3-2 this season and will next host East Tennessee State on Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 16:00. The Tigers and Gamecocks will play the third and final match of their regular season series on May 11 at Clemson.
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