South Carolina Baseball: Gamecocks struggle offensively again, lose 2nd in a row to Clemson Tigers

South Carolina baseball don't hit well enough again, and the Gamecocks lose to the rival Clemson Tigers for the 2nd time.

South Carolina baseball star Ethan Petry
South Carolina baseball star Ethan Petry / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

After losing in extra innings on Saturday, the South Carolina baseball team hoped that their bats would wake up a bit for Sunday's 2nd game against the rival Clemson Tigers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

They didn't.

On Saturday, the Gamecocks logged just 6 hits before a 9th-inning rally, but 6 hits would have been nice on Sunday. Carolina tallied just 5 knocks against the Tigers. The pitching was good enough to win, and the offense did a good job of manufacturing some base runners through walks (7), hit-by-pitches (2), and reaching by errors (2). However, with only 2 hits with runners on base, USC only managed 3 runs until the 9th.

Dylan Eskew started the game for the Gamecocks, and he was fine on the mound. He started to get a little shaky while pitching with a 3-1 lead in the 4th, but pitching coach Matt Williams and head coach Mark Kingston elected to leave him in the game. After walking a batter and committing a throwing error, Eskew gave up 2 runs on a ground out and a single from Andrew Ciufo.

Roman Kimball gave up 2 runs over 3 1/3 innings (2 solo home runs to Nolan Nawrocki and Blake Wright), and Ty Good pitched a clean 8th inning. For Clemson, Aidan Knaak left the game with the score tied 3-3 after the 5th. A combined effort from Drew Titsworth, Nick Clayton, and Matthew Marchal held the Gamecocks hitless over the next 3 frames.

Ethan Petry tried to play the role of hero again in the 9th inning with another late-game home run, but with the Gamecocks trailing by 2 runs at the time of the long ball, it only made the score 5-4. Petry nearly was ejected for celebrating as the umpires (led by crew chief Scott Klein) attempted to make one of college baseball's best rivalries about them instead of the players.

Cole Messina walked, and Talmadge LeCroy grounded out to end the game as Austin Gordon earned the save for the orange and white.

For the game, the Carolina offense had more strikeouts (9) than hits (5), and left fielder Blake Jackson wore the golden sombrero, fanning 4 times in 5 plate appearances. 10 Gamecocks were left on base (after 12 on Saturday).

The offense continued to scuffle a bit in this series as South Carolina baseball is far too reliant upon walks and hit-by-pitches for their success. The pitching hasn't been lights out, but it has been good enough to avoid two of the three losses they've suffered.

To have a legitimate chance to host another regional in 2024 like they did in 2023, the Gamecocks will have to hit the ball better moving forward.

The Gamecocks will return to the field for two mid-week contested this week. On Tuesday, they will play The Citadel Bulldogs at 6:30 PM EST, and on Wednesday, they will face off with the Davidson Wildcats at 3:00 PM EST. Both games will be played at Founders Park and will be broadcast on the SEC Network+.


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