Clemson starter Daniel Gossett lasted into the seventh, throwing 110 pitches, striking out four and allowing three hits. But the sophomore walked four, including back-to-back walks to the final batters he faced loading the bases for reliever Joseph Moorefield. The senior walked in a run on a full count, gave up a sacrifice fly and then the game's only run off a hit, a single by LB Dantzler that put the Gamecocks ahead 4-0.
There was even a bit of controversy to add to the rivalry's lore. In the bottom of the fifth, Garrett Boulware drove the ball deep into left. Graham Saiko missed a jumping catch as the ball bounced back into the field, but recovered to throw Boulware out at third base after he slid past the bag. Leggett spent the time between innings arguing Boulware hit it out as fans booed.
But Leggett said the Tigers blew plenty of other opportunities.
"We didn't get but one leadoff man on base all night. That makes it tough," Leggett said. "We didn't get a chance to use our speed or get our bunting game going or anything going offensively."
The series shifts to Greenville's minor-league park about 30 minutes from Clemson's campus on Saturday. The teams' conclude Sunday at South Carolina's Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina's domination in the series includes two straight over Clemson at the 2010 College World Series on the way to its first national title. A season ago, the Gamecocks knocked the Tigers from the NCAA regional with a pair of one-run victories.
Leggett said he will tell his team just to forget Friday night. "Baseball is a funny game. There is a lot of season left," he said.
And Holbrook isn't going to bask in his first rivalry win either.
"It will be a dogfight tomorrow and it will be a dogfight Sunday," Holbrook said.