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Clemson baseball loses game one of three-game series to USC 2-0

DOUG KINGSMORE STADIUM, CLEMSON, SC — After five scoreless innings and what seemed to be another pitcher’s duel like last Friday’s game, South Carolina scored two unearned runs to beat Clemson 2-0 on Friday night (March 3).
In the sixth inning, South Carolina scored the only two runs of the game off of a K.J. Bryant error. With two outs and runners at the corners, Barnes got Madison Stokes to pop one up. Bryant, playing right field, ran under the ball for the catch but dropped it, allowing both Gamecock runners to score and Stokes to reach first base.  
Robert Jolly came inches away from responding to the two runs with a homerun in the bottom of the sixth but the ball bounced off the top of the wall for a two-out double that the Tigers were unable to capitalize on.
On the night, Clemson stranded 11 batters while only gaining five hits against one of the best pitchers in the country. The Tigers also hit into three double plays, including one with the bases loaded and one out.
One of those hits came from Chris Williams, who made his season debut at the plate after injuring his wrist the week before opening day. Williams played one inning behind the plate in Clemson’s victory over Wofford on Tuesday but in his first at-bat of the year, he grounded a one-out single to left field.
Clarke Schmidt threw 5.2 innings without giving up a run while walking seven batters. Even though he didn’t have his best command, he and his defense were able to limit the damage.
Josh Reagan came in for Schmidt after the Jolly double but was able to pick up where Schmidt left off and got an out to end the threat.  To close for the Gamecocks, Tyler Johnson came in in the ninth inning. He brought the heat with him, averaging 96-97 mph on his fastball. He was able to put the Tigers down without any drama and secure the victory for the Gamecocks.
On the other hand, Charlie Barnes threw well against the Gamecock lineup but his defense let him down. An error on Logan Davidson in the sixth inning allowed the leadoff batter to reach base. That runner later came around to score, along with Matt Williams after the Bryant error in the outfield.
Barnes’s final line after 7.1 innings was two runs, both unearned, with two walks against seven strikeouts.
Jacob Hennessy and Brooks Crawford came in relief to finish out the game and did not give up any additional runs.
The Tigers and Gamecocks square off in game two tomorrow March 4 at Fluor Field in Greenville at 1 p.m. 

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