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Clemson baseball defeats South Carolina to complete series sweep

Matt Mynes, Contributor

Clemson center fielder Dylan Brewer leads off of third base against South Carolina on March 6, 2022 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Propelled by a three-run fourth inning, Clemson baseball completed the series sweep against South Carolina on Sunday, defeating the Gamecocks 5-2 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
After a scoreless first three innings, Clemson shortstop Benjamin Blackwell secured the team’s first run in the fourth inning after being hit by a pitch. With the hit-by-pitch, Clemson center fielder Bryar Hawkins advanced to home, giving Clemson the first of its three runs in the fourth inning.
After scoring a run in the fifth and six innings, South Carolina clawed back to make it a one-run game. However, the Tigers weathered the storm, scoring two runs of their own in the eighth inning to make it a 5-2 final score and secure the series sweep.
“To find a way to sweep the Gamecocks was just one of those things that I’ll never forget,” said Clemson head coach Monte Lee after the game. 
The history books will not forget this weekend’s sweep either, as it was the first time since 1996 that Clemson swept the Gamecocks in a series of three or more games.
In Sunday’s victory, Lee said he was most impressed by his team’s bullpen.
Led by starting pitcher Nick Clayton, the five different Clemson pitchers combined for eight total strikeouts. Alex Edmondson was the first reliever off the bench, with Jackson Lindley, Jay Dill and Ryan Ammons following him.
“We got to give a lot of credit to our pitching staff.” Lee said. “Just to pitch the way that we did, just an unbelievable job of pitching with runners on base.”
Clayton finished the game with four strikeouts and allowed four hits in his 4.2 innings pitched. As a team, the Tigers’ pitchers allowed ten hits, but forced ten Gamecocks to be left on base.
Offensively, Clemson had six total hits. One of those hits came from Hawkins, who was named the series’ most valuable player. In the three victories over the gamecocks, Hawkins had three total runs, five total hits and one run brought in (RBI).
“Hawkins, he’s special kid to me and this program,” said Lee. “For him to be the MVP of the series, it means a lot to him, but it means a lot to us as coaches because of how special he is to the team this year.”
Meanwhile, Clemson designated hitter Cooper Ingle recorded a hit for the eleventh straight game and hit his first career home run in the eighth inning.
“I think our team has a ton of chemistry this year,” Ingle said after the game. “Everybody loves each other. All we want to do is win every single game.”
With Sunday’s victory, the Tigers are now (11-0), their best record since 2002 when they started (13-0). Clemson takes on East Tennessee State on Tuesday and Michigan State on Wednesday, meaning this year’s team could tie the program’s best start since then if they win those two games.

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