South Carolina rallies past Clemson 5-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm •  Published: March 2, 2014
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Just like that, Clemson's chance at victory vanished as South Carolina struck with another memorable moment in an increasingly one-sided rivalry.

The Tigers were a strike away from a comforting home victory when the Gamecocks got two-out, two-run hits from shortstop Marcus Mooney and center fielder Tanner English in the ninth to rally past their heated rivals for a 5-3 victory Sunday.

"We're not going to give up until that last out is called," said English, who drove in the winning runs with a double near the left field line. "We're never going to have any doubts. Go up there, play the game one pitch at a time and see what happens."

This stunned most of the 6,016 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium already steamed that their team gave up a 6-1 lead Friday to fall 9-6 in Columbia and then got beat 10-2 in Greenville on Saturday.

It's South Carolina's 13th victory in the past 16 meetings with Clemson (6-4) and its second season sweep in the past seven seasons.

"It's kind of like you're a little kid again and you put a smile on your face," English said.

This was a game where Clemson was in control throughout. East Tennessee transfer Jake Long gave the Tigers 6 1-3 innings of strong work as a starting pitcher and they mostly stayed away from the miscues — they had six errors combined Friday and Saturday — that cost them in the first two games.

Reliever Clate Schmidt held down South Carolina (10-0) for more than two innings and was a strike away from ending things when pinch hitter Brison Celek singled to load the bases.

That's when Mooney singled to center. Kyle Martin scored easily, but center fielder Tyler Slaton's throw was in ahead of Gamecocks catcher Grayson Greiner and easily would've been the game-ending out except that Clemson catcher Chris Okey couldn't come up with the ball.

A rattled Schmidt couldn't get English, whose strong liner rolled into the left field corner for the back-breaking runs scored by pinch runner Zack Madden and Mooney.

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