GREENVILLE, S.C. – Behind the stout pitching of junior left-hander Jack Wynkoop (Virginia Beach, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate HS), freshman righty Clarke Schmidt (Acworth, Ga./Allatoona HS), and sophomore two-way threat Taylor Widener (Aiken, S.C./South Aiken HS), No. 5 ranked South Carolina (7-2) defeated Clemson (6-3) 4-1 Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Wynkoop (2-1) was solid over 6 2/3 innings picking up the win, and permitting only one run with seven strikeouts, while Taylor and Widener combined for three shutout innings of relief. It was Widdener — who had five strikeouts — that got the save, his third of the year.
Clemson’s run came in the top of the first frame from a Tyler Krieger (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview HS) RBI double that scored freshman outfielder Reed Rohlman (Moore, S.C. /James F. Byrnes HS).
It was a big inning for the Gamecocks in the second when leadoff hitter senior Connor Bright (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando HS), roped a double down the left field line and was scored by an RBI double off the bat of freshman two-way threat Alex Destino (Weaverville, N.C./North Buncombe HS).
Then a base hit by freshman catcher Hunter Taylor (Onley, VA. /Nandua HS) put runners on the corners, and sophomore Jordan Gore (Conway, S.C./Conway HS) knocked in Destino with an RBI fielder’s choice. Gore was drove home by an Elliott Caldwell (Easley, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College) two-out RBI single.
In the third frame, South Carolina tacked on another run when senior Kyle Martin (Greenville, S.C./Wade Hampton HS) was scored by a RBI courtesy of Taylor.
With the sacks packed, and no outs, Clemson had an opportunity to make things interesting in the seventh inning, however, Schmidt wiggled out of the scrape eventually by forcing Rohlman to hit into a 6-4-3 double play keeping the Gamecocks ahead by three runs.
It was a big day from the Gamecock pitchers as they went on to post a combined effort over nine innings, permitting one run on seven hits and three walks, while striking out 13 hitters.
Gores RBI was his tenth on the year and seven of nine starters got a hit against the Tigers.
South Carolina and Clemson battle again in the series finale on Sunday at Carolina Stadium.
First pitch goes out at noon and the game will be televised on the SEC Network. It can also be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”