Around the Bases
click here for complete
list of scores
Greiner, Gamecocks Rally
By John Whittle
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
(photos by Juan Blas of TheBigSpur.com)
– No. 3 South Carolina exploded for six runs in the middle innings,
keyed by a grand slam by Grayson Greiner, to notch a 9-6
comeback victory over No. 11 Clemson Friday night in front of a crowd
of 8,284 at Carolina Stadium. Billed as a pitchers’ duel with
two preseason All-Americans on the mound, the teams combined for
15 runs on 21 hits.
Juniors Jordan Montgomery and Daniel Gossett
didn’t factor into the decision as the hitters stole the show.
Greiner, the Gamecocks’ junior catcher, was 3 for 4 with five
RBI for the Gamecocks, who slugged 13 hits but also benefitted
from four Tigers errors and six walks.
South Carolina (8-0) found a hot pitcher in
right-hander Cody Mincey, who picked up his first career win
throwing 2.2 scoreless innings. Closer Joel Seddon picked up the
save, registering two strikeouts after entering with the tying
run at the plate with no outs in the ninth inning.
“I was really, really proud of my team; they
responded the right way,” South Carolina coach Chad Holbrook
said. “You talk about handling adversity all the time, and they
were tested tonight. They handled the adversity. Our kids played
awfully hard, and they competed every pitch and it took that for
us to win the game tonight.”
South Carolina’s streak of 52 consecutive innings
without allowing a run was snapped in the second inning when
Clemson (6-2) leveled the score at one apiece. After walking
senior Jon McGibbon, who had just one hit on the season entering
the night, Montgomery allowed a two-out RBI single to freshman
It was the beginning of a tough night for
The Tigers opened up the game in the top of the
fourth inning by touching Montgomery for four runs. The bases
were loaded after leadoff hitter Tyler Slaton beat out an
infield single with two outs that prompted an argument by
Holbrook with the first-base umpire.
Sophomore Tyler Krieger cleared the bases with a
double to left-center, and he came around to score on the next
pitch when junior Garrett Boulware knocked a double off the wall
to make the score 5-1.
The Tigers added an unearned run in the fifth
inning when Montgomery fielded a sacrifice bunt and threw past
third baseman Joey Pankake, which allowed Steven Duggar to
While Montgomery’s final line of six runs (five
earned) in 5.1 innings wasn’t what was expected, the junior did
make some big pitches to keep his team within shouting distance.
With two runners in scoring position in the fifth inning, he
struck out the next three hitters to keep it a 6-1 game.
“It definitely wasn’t my best, but I knew that
last inning, I had to play damage control,” Montgomery said. “I
missed a few spots on a couple of close calls. I had a few more
walks than I usually do. I felt like I had pretty good stuff,
but I hit a couple of barrels. I thought I had pretty good
Holbrook called the sequence the “biggest moment
in the game.”
“He pitched his rear end off to get out of the
inning with no runs allowed,” Holbrook said. “That gave us a
The Gamecocks got right back in the game in the
bottom of the fifth when Greiner launched a bases-loaded
fastball from Gossett over the left-field wall. The home run was
the third for Greiner on the season.
Greiner was given the green light to swing at the
2-0 pitch from Gossett, who had walked the batter before him.
“It’s not exactly what I was trying to do but I’m
glad it happened,” Greiner said. “It brought a little bit of
energy back in the crowd. I think that was the turning point
momentum-wise. Once we got that big hit, everyone in the dugout
thought we could win it.”
(left) was knocked out of the game after
allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks.
He struck out eight in 4.2 innings.
Clemson reliever Clay Bates didn’t have much better luck and
forfeited the lead the very next inning. Junior Connor Bright
beat out the relay of a potential double-play ball that scored a
run in the bottom of the sixth, and Greiner’s two-out infield
single gave the Gamecocks the lead at 7-6.
The Gamecocks added insurance runs in the seventh
and eighth innings to give Mincey and Seddon a bit of a cushion.
Junior Tanner English, who was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts
before his at-bat in the seventh, launched his first home run.
Junior Kyle Martin, who also had an RBI single in the first
inning, scored on a wild pitch in the eighth to cap the scoring.
“We’ve got less than 12 hours to get back on the
field,” Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. “We’ll be ready to play
[in Greenville] and bounce back. There’s a lot of heartache
through the course of the year every year. This was tough moment
for us tonight.”
The one-two punch of Mincey and Seddon combined
to pitch 3.2 innings, allowing one hit and a walk and striking
out six. On the year, Seddon has not allowed a hit or a walk in
4.2 innings. He has nine strikeouts, and only one ball has left
Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday at 2
p.m. at Flour Field in Greenville, S.C. in a neutral-site
contest. Games 3 is set for Sunday at 4 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore
Stadium in Clemson, S.C.