The South Carolina Gamecocks held off a late rally from the Clemson Tigers defeating their in-state rival once again by a final of 4-3 Saturday evening, sending them to the finals of the College World Series where they will face UCLA in a best of three series beginning on Monday.
The Gamecocks return to the CWS finals for the first time since 2002 and for the fourth time in program history. The win also improves South Carolina to 4-0 against Clemson in the CWS, including a pair of wins in 2002.
South Carolina starter Sam Dyson tossed 6.2 innings, allowing a pair of earned runs on five hits, while reliever Matt Price (4-1) pitched 2.1 innings and gave up one earned run on three hits to pick up the win.
Christian Walker the Gamecocks first basement went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Centerfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. extended his hitting streak to 21 games.
South Carolina opened the first inning with three consecutive hits to load the bases, but managed just one run. Clemson tied the game at 1-1. Walker hit a solo home run to put the Gamecocks back on top, 2-1 in the third. Walker’s ninth home run of the season.
The Tigers tied the game again at 2-2 in the 7th. The Gamecocks would take the lead for good with a pair of runs in the seventh, capitalizing on a Clemson miscue and an intentional walk. After a hit batter and an error, Walker and third baseman Adrian Morales hit back-to-back RBI-singles for the 4-2 lead.
Clemson made it 4-2 in the eighth when third baseman John Hinson leadoff with a triple. Hinson made it to third after South Carolina’s center- and rightfielder collided, allowing the ball to drop. Shortstop Brad Miller grounded to second, scoring Hinson and pulling the Tigers to 4-3.