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Baseball Post-Game Blog: 1-2 Punch Knocks Out Tigers

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Whit Merrifield and Jackie Bradley, Jr. demonstrated the full potential of the top two spots in the Gamecock batting order on Saturday against Clemson. The pair led the Gamecock rally against the Tigers, accounting for five hits on nine at-bats, six RBI, four runs, two walks and two stolen bases.

Bradley put South Carolina on the board in the top of the third inning with a rocket over Fluor Field's version of the Green Monster, cutting Clemson's lead to 4-2.

In the fifth inning, Bradley drove in Bobby Haney with a single to left field to trim the Tigers' lead to 4-3. In the seventh, it was Merrifield's turn as he singled to score Adrian Morales and pull the Gamecocks level with Clemson. The outfielder also pushed his hitting streak to 23 games, two shy of the school record.

Merrifield came through again in the top of the ninth, bringing in Scott Wingo to put South Carolina ahead 5-4. Bradley followed that at-bat with a double to score Merrifield.

Series Continues to Delight

Beautiful ballpark, two fanatical fanbases and intense action on the field. Game 2 of the South Carolina - Clemson series picked up where Friday night left off, giving us an impressive rally, more clutch hitting and some strong pitching. 

"This really was a beautiful day for college baseball, regardless of who won the game. I thought it was exciting and just a tremendous atmosphere. We were just glad to be a part of this." said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. 

A Minor Script Revision

Saturday's game was almost a mirror image of Friday's night's contest with the Tigers jumping out to a quick lead, followed by the Gamecocks rallying back to tie the game. However, South Carolina prevented a repeat of last night's performance as the bullpen held and the Gamecocks were able to push across the necessary runs to tie the series at one game apiece.

Dyson Settles In

Saturday's starter Sam Dyson struggled early in the first two innings, allowing four runs and four hits. But after that, Dyson retired twelve of the next thirteen batters he faced to keep Clemson off the board. He struck out seven Tigers and walked two batters.

Bullpen Locks It Down

A night after surrending a late lead to the Tigers, South Carolina's bullpen was crucial in keeping the Gamecocks in a position to win the game. After Dyson's departure in the sixth inning, the trio of Jimmy Revan, Matt Price and Michael Roth combined to hold Clemson to three hits and one earned run. The bullpen struck out six Clemson batters. Overall, South Carolina's pitching staff struck out thirteen Tigers.  

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