April 9, 2003
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Clemson, SC- The 13th ranked Clemson baseball team defeated South Carolina 4-2 Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the final game of the annual four-game series. The Tigers picked up their third win over the Gamecocks this year and improved their record to 24-7 while South Carolina dropped to 20-13. Jason Berken picked up the win for the Tigers and improved his record to 4-1. Berken pitched 6.2 innings and gave up seven hits, two earned runs, and one walk, and had seven strikeouts on 88 pitches. Chris Hernandez was credited with the loss for the Gamecocks, who dropped to 2-2 on the year. Hernandez allowed four earned runs in 7.1 innings and gave up six hits and three walks, and had five strikeouts.
South Carolina grabbed an early lead in the top of the second as Steven Tolleson looped a single into shallow right field that plated Trey McDaniel after a couple of early-inning singles and a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners for the Gamecocks.
After a few scoreless innings, Clemson gained its first lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Michael Johnson hit a towering shot over the right field fence to put the Tigers up 3-1. The three-run homer was Johnson’s 52nd career homer and sixth home run of the year, his first at Doug Kingsmore this season. The three-run shot was also Johnson’s 10th homer against South Carolina in his career, including third this season.
The Gamecocks closed within one run of the Tigers in the top of the seventh inning when Trey McDaniel scored from third on a single to left center. McDaniel had a leadoff walk for the Gamecocks then advanced to second on a balk. He later advanced to third on a fly out to right field and scored on the single off the bat of Michael Campbell.
The Tigers tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Johnson scored on a squeeze bunt off the bat of Ryan Hub to push the lead to 4-2 and close out the scoring.
For his play in this year’s series against the Gamecocks, Johnson was awarded the Bob Bradley Award after the game. The annual award honors Clemson’s MVP in the Clemson-South Carolina series. Aaron Rawl earned the Tom Price Award for South Carolina. Rawl was the winning pitcher in the Gamecock’s lone win in this year’s series.
The Tigers will return to action on Friday, April 11, as they travel to Tallahassee to take on Florida State in a weekend series. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Friday’s game will also be televised live by the Sunshine Network.
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