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Taylor launches 3 homers in dominant win over Spartans

Kate Adent
Clemson outfielder Will Taylor (16) nailed three home runs, becoming the 16th player in program history to do so, in the Tigers’ win over USC Upstate on Tuesday afternoon.

Will Taylor made Clemson history on Tuesday afternoon, becoming just the 16th Tiger in program history to hit three home runs in one game, leading Clemson to a 12-6 win over USC Upstate at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

After coming into the game batting just 1-for-23, Taylor left Tuesday with three at-bats, three home runs and four runs scored. Speaking after the game, Taylor said he knew the slump would end soon.

“You know the worm would turn eventually and just trust the process and just keep playing,” he said. “Just keep believing, you know teammates got my back, the coaches are there for you, and just keep playing as a team, so eventually they would fall.”

Taylor began the season with a hit in his first at-bat. However, he had not recorded a single hit since. That slump finally came to an end in the bottom of the second inning as he sent a lead-off home run ball into left-center field to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead. But he was not done there.

The junior came up to bat again in the fourth and sixth innings and hit homers both times. When he was at the plate in the seventh, the Spartans had seen enough and intentionally walked him.

Following the series win over Kennesaw State, head coach Erik Bakich was adamant that Taylor would bounce back from his slump.

“Willy T’s tough. Anything he hits his way into, he’s going to hit his way out of,” he said. “We just keep putting him in there. He’s never coming out. He’s just one of those guys that they’re going to fall; he’s too good.”

The No. 10 Clemson Tigers (7-1) started strong, as a home run from second baseman Blake Wright gave Clemson a 2-0 lead after the first inning.

As for the rest of the team, Clemson finished the game with 11 hits, including five home runs. In eight innings, the Tigers failed to score in only one.

Relief pitcher Ethan Darden (2-0) earned the win after allowing only one hit through three scoreless innings.

The Tigers go on the road this Friday as they head to Columbia, South Carolina, to kick off rivalry weekend against the Gamecocks at 7 p.m.

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