Sophomore wins Bob Bradley Award as Clemson MVP of the USC series
Clemson clinched its fourth-straight series over No. 23 South Carolina with a 8-7 walk-off win at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday.
The seventh-ranked Tigers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead before the Gamecocks crept back tying the game in the top of the ninth before Drew Wharton hit a line drive off the right field wall scoring Robert Jolly from first base.
The Tigers have not won four straight series in the rivalry since the 1986-89 seasons and it also ensured Clemson beat the Gamecocks in football, baseball and basketball ball for two consecutive years.
Sophomore shortstop Logan Davidson won the Bob Bradley Award, given to the most valuable Clemson player of the South Carolina series, after being a catalyst for the Tigers’ success in the lead-off spot.
Davidson grew up hearing about the rivalries’ weight from his father Mark, who played for the Tigers in the 1982 season and lost three-of-four to the Gamecocks.
“In the greatest rivalry in college baseball it’s certainly an honor,” said Davidson. “This weekend certainly lived up to all of the hype and I had a lot of fun, it’s such an honor to win that award.”
The shortstop finished the series 3-for-6 with a home run, double, two RBIs, five runs, and eight walks over the course of three games. He had on-base percentage of nearly .800 in the three games.
His home run came at a crucial time Sunday afternoon after South Carolina cut the Tigers’ lead to two runs in the top of the sixth inning. The solo shot prove to be key after the Gamecocks rallied in the ninth inning to tie the game at seven.
Clemson has thrived in close games early in 2018, winning five of six so far to this point in the season.
With Davidson in the lead-off spot the Tigers are in good shape, he currently boasts a .481 on base percentage with 14 walks on the season. Clemson’s ability to get lead-off hitters on base has been a major contributor in its success and will continue to be crucial as the season progresses.
Clemson head coach Monte Lee has been impressed with the way Davidson approaches his at-bats with the team in mind as opposed to his personal numbers. He believes it will pay off for him down the stretch.
“He always puts the team first with quality at-bats and playing good defense,” Lee said. “Look at his at-bats this weekend, his numbers may not be as good, but he gets on base and scores runs.”
Clemson is back in action Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. hosting Wofford at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.