The Clemson Insider looks back at Clemson’s 2-0 loss to South Carolina on Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium to open the three-game series between the rivals.
For most of the night, it was a classic Friday night pitcher’s duel. Both teams had multiple chances to score, but could not find the big hit to break the tie. The Tigers (6-3) had multiple chances early but three critical double plays ended those chances. The Gamecocks (7-3) took advantage of two key Clemson errors in the sixth to take a 2-0 lead. From there, South Carolina let their bullpen do the work as they shut out Clemson to take the first game of the series.
The game changed in the top of the sixth inning. After five full scoreless innings, the Gamecocks had their first runner reach on an error. Following a sac bunt, a single put runners on the corners with only one out. Tiger starter Charlie Barnes was able to get a strikeout for the second out and appeared to be out of the jam with a fly ball to right field. However, KJ Bryant overran the ball and dropped it, allowing both runners to score and give the Gamecocks the lead.
What went right?
Barnes had an outstanding night on the mound, tossing 7.1 innings of three hit ball while only allowing the two unearned runs. Jacob Hennessy and Brooks Crawford pitched the final 1.2 innings, not allowing a single hit. Offensively, the Tigers collected only five hits (Bryant, Reed Rohlman, Chris Williams, Logan Davidson, & Robert Joly) but they did draw eight walks.
What went wrong?
The defense really let Barnes down in the sixth as they leadoff man reached on a Davidson error and then two runs came in to score on Bryant’s error that should have ended the inning. Clemson stranded 11 runners in the contest while also grounding into three double plays.