Clemson reaches the end of the road in Omaha

In heartbreaking manner, the Clemson Tigers fell for a second time against their state rivals, the South Carolina Gamecocks.  After beating the Tigers 4-3, South Carolina advances to the final series against UCLA.

Sam Dyson was the starting pitcher for South Carolina, and he set a good tone by retiring the Tigers in order in the first.  Casey Harman, starting pitcher for Clemson took a little longer to settle in.  He began the game by allowing three straight singles, and a run.  1-0 Carolina. 

The Tigers threatened to score in the second, but left Parker (BB) and Miller (single) stranded. Harman hit his stride and delivered three K’s in the bottom of the second.  I

n the third, Clemson scored a run on a sacrifice RBI by Schaus, bringing Freeman in. 1-1.  In the bottom of the fourth, Christian Walker had a lead off homer, bringing the score to 2-1.  Brad Miller had his 32nd error of the season, but Harman was able to get out of the inning with minimal damage.

In the fifth, Merrifield tripled to right (he’s 3 for 3 tonight), but Harman prevented him from scoring with a beautiful back-up at third. In the top of the sixth, Hinson singled, reached second on a passed ball and made it to third, though he wasn’t able to score.  Carolina left a man stranded on second, with no score. 

Epps came in to pinch hit for Clemson in the seventh and scored on a fielder’s choice error to tie the game at 2 runs each.  Fredrick came in to relieve Harman in the seventh, and Nester subbed in for Kieboom.  A throwing error to 2nd allowed the SC runner to advance to third.  Bradley was walked intentionally and Walker hit an RBI single.  SC lead Clemson 4-2 through seven. 

In the top of the eighth, Hinson tripled to shallow right, and with a miscommunication in the field, Merrifield went down hard and cut his lip.  After a slight injury delay, a sacrifice scored Hinson.  4-3 SC.  Both Weismann and Brady pitched in the bottom of the eighth, and a 5-4-3 double play ended the inning.  Freeman was able to pull out a two-out single in the ninth, but Schaus hit a bullet to end the inning, and the Tigers run at the title. 

Congratulations to Jack Leggett and the Clemson Tigers on a great season and hard-fought post-season.

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