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Clemson baseball ties series against USC with 8-7 comeback

FLUOR FIELD, GREENVILLE, SC — The Clemson Tigers evened the series against South Carolina after a come-from-behind 8-7 victory on Saturday, March 4.
Things started with a bang in game two of the Reedy River Rivalry. Unlike game one where the two teams went scoreless for over five innings, Seth Beer hit a no-doubter to right field as the third Clemson batter to face Wil Crowe. With Logan Davidson already on base from his leadoff single, the Tigers took an early 2-0 lead.
Carolina responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first after hitting a triple off Pat Krall and an RBI single from Jonah Bride. Krall labored in the first and the South Carolina batters had much better at-bats than in game one, working deep into counts and taking advantage of their opportunity.
Clemson derailed in the middle stages of the game both offensively and defensively. Krall struggled and gave up four runs, three of them earned, along with three extra base hits. The Gamecocks took advantage of his struggles and a couple of Tiger errors to take a 5-2 lead.
After the homerun to Beer, Crowe settled in and began looking like one of the best pitchers in the country. He had a streak of retiring 14 straight Clemson batters before giving up a walk to Beer in the sixth. That ended up being inconsequential for him and it looked like Clemson had no answers for his pitching.
In the seventh inning, the Tigers started their comeback. After a walk to Robert Jolly, Andrew Cox ripped a double to the wall to score him and cut into the South Carolina lead. That was the first run the Tigers had scored since the first inning.
That hit also knocked Crowe out of the game with a final line of six innings pitched, four runs, all earned, and six strikeouts against two walks.
Cox came around to score, accounting for Crowe’s fourth run, after a sac-fly from Grayson Byrd. Clemson then trailed by only one.
A couple of Clemson pitchers came in and took care of the Gamecocks before Head Coach Monte Lee brought in closer Ryley Gilliam in the eighth.
In its half of the eighth, Clemson tied things up courtesy of an RBI single from Chase Pinder. Then, in the ninth with one out, Patrick Cromwell blasted a solo homerun out of right field to give the Tigers their first lead since the fifth inning. Clemson scored two more runs that inning to take an 8-5 lead to the bottom of the ninth.
South Carolina had their closer, Tyler Johnson, in the game but the Tigers were able to hit him much better than they did in their few at-bats against him Friday night. Eventually, after Cromwell’s homerun, he was pulled from the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, The Tigers committed two more errors which allowed the Gamecocks to score two runs. They came close to tying the game but Beer showed off some defensive skill and was able to throw the runner out at the plate. Gilliam was then able to end the game by striking out Alex Destino, one of the best Gamecock hitters.
The rubber match is Sunday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m. at Founders Park in Columbia. 

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