Cruse Pitches No. 9 South Carolina To 6-2 Win Over No. 1 Clemson
March 4, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - Sophomore right-hander Andrew Cruse pitched 5.2 innings of shutout relief Saturday and South Carolina broke a 2-2 tie with three fourth inning runs in a 6-2 win over Clemson in the first of four scheduled contests between the in-state baseball rivals.
The scene shifts to Doug Kingsmore Stadium at Clemson Sunday at 2 p.m. The third and fourth games of the series are scheduled for April 5 in Columbia and April l2 at Clemson. Attendance at Sarge Frye Field Saturday was an overflow 5,861.
Clemson, ranked number one nationally by Baseball America, dropped to 6-2 while ninth ranked South Carolina improved to 9-1. The Gamecocks ended a 10 game season opening home stand.
Cruse earned the win to improve his record to 2-0 and Clemson starter Jason Berken, 2-1, was charged with the loss.
Cruse relieved Gamecock starter Arik Hempy with one out, a Clemson runner on base, and the scored tied in the fourth inning. In 5 2/3 innings he allowed three hits, walked one and struck out seven. He lowered his season earned run average to 0.68 in 13 1/3 innings.
Designated hitter Robbie Grinestaff hit his fifth home run of the season after a two out first inning single by Neil Giesler to stake South Carolina to a 2-0 lead but Clemson tied it in the top of the third on a walk to Brad Chalk, a double by Taylor Harbin and a two runs batted in single by Tyler Colvin, the second of three hits by the Tiger second baseman.
Chris Brown doubled, the first of his two hits, to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Mark Stanley walked and Trent Kline laid down a bunt which he beat out for an infield hit and Brown scored on the play when Berken's wild throw sailed down the right field line, Stanley advancing to third and Kline to second. Stanley scored on a passed ball and Kline on a sacrifice fly by Cheyne Hurst.
Hurst had a second sacrifice fly, tying a one game school record held by many players, when his fly to center field drove in Stanley in the sixth inning for the final run of the game. Stanley had doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice.
South Carolina's defense snuffed out a two out threat by Clemson in the fifth inning. Travis Storrer walked and advanced to third on a hit to left center field by Marquez Smith who was out attempting to stretch the hit into a double. First baseman Justin Smoak trailed to play to second base and tagged Smith out on a throw from center fielder Michael Campbell.
The assist was the 21st by Campbell, a senior, setting a new career record for Gamecock outfielders.
Clemson had eight hits to seven for South Carolina but the third inning double by Harbin was the only Tiger extra base hit. Besides the Grinestaff home run, South Carolina had doubles by Hurst, Chris Brown and Stanley. Brown with two and Harbin with three were the only hitters with more than one hit.
Hempy, the Gamecock starter, pitched out of trouble in the first inning when he threw 32 pitches and allowed two base runners. In the third he allowed both of Clemson's runs and was spared further damage when the Gamecock infield turned a double play.