Tanner Records 900th Career Win in Carolina's 5-1 Victory Over Tigers|
March 2, 2008
Clemson, S.C. - Justin Smoak hit his third home run of the season and starting pitcher Blake Cooper did not allow an earned run in six innings of work as third ranked South Carolina (5-1) defeated 13th ranked Clemson (5-2) 5-1 to win consecutive games vs. the Tigers and give head coach Ray Tanner his 900th career victory.
In his second start of the season, Cooper went six innings and allowed just one run, unearned on seven hits while striking out three and walking none to pick up the victory. He is 1-1 on the year. Curtis Johnson worked the final three innings and allowed just two hits while striking out four to pick up his first save of the year. D.J. Mitchell suffered the loss and is 1-1 on the year. He worked 5.1 innings for the Tigers and allowed two runs, one earned, on 10 hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
It was a scoreless game through five innings as neither team could manage a run on each starting pitcher. Carolina then went ahead 2-0 in the top of the sixth inning. With one out and Kyle Enders and Justin Hopper on first and second base, freshman Scott Wingo doubled to the gap in right center to score Enders and give the Gamecocks a one-run lead. That lead would increase to 2-0 then on a RBI single from Reese Havens.
Clemson would take advantage of a Gamecock error in the bottom half of the inning as with two outs, third baseman James Darnell threw wide of first base allowing on a grounder from Kyle Parker allowing the Tiger runner Ben Paulsen to score all the way from first base and cut the Gamecock lead to one run. Carolina got the run back in the seventh inning as Justin Smoak led off the inning with a double and scored on a two-out RBI single from Kyle Enders.
Carolina put the game away in the top of the ninth inning with two runs off of Clemson reliever Matt Vaughn. Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak greeted Vaughn with a home run to right field for his third of the season. After Andrew Crisp was hit by a pitch, the Gamecocks scored the final run of the game on a double from Harley Lail, his second of the game and his third hit.
Carolina finished with a 14-9 advantage with Smoak and Lail each tallying three hits. Enders, Wingo and Havens had two hits as well. Havens, Smoak and Enders have hit safely in all six Gamecock games this year. Wilson Boyd had three hits and Alex Lee added two for the Tigers at the plate.
The Gamecocks return home for their next game, against Gardner Webb, with first pitch set for 7 pm at Sarge Frye Field on Tuesday night.
Note***The game time for Wednesday's game between South Carolina and Charlotte has been moved to 4 pm. It was originally slated for 7 pm and was changed to accommodate fans planning to attend Wednesday night's men's basketball game between South Carolina and Kentucky.