USC loses to Clemson in baseball, Gamecock men’s basketball falls at Auburn
Clemson scored the final four runs of the game, Saturday taking advantage of 10 South Carolina walks, and defeated the Gamecocks, 5-1, at Fluor Field.
Cody Morris got out of big jams in each of the first two innings. The sophomore righty walked the first two batters in the first but snared a comebacker that started a double play and then induced a fly out. In the second, Robert Jolly singled and Drew Wharton had a ground-rule double in right. Morris battled back and struck out the next three batters, keeping the game scoreless.
Clemson did score a run in the third on a sacrifice fly from Patrick Cromwell, but the Gamecocks answered in the top of the fourth as Madison Stokes ended an 11-pitch at-bat with a solo home run over the Green Monster in left center.
The Tigers took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a Seth Beer sacrifice fly and Cromwell RBI single. Kyle Wilkie’s two-run single in the fifth put the Tigers up 5-1.
South Carolina put a pair of runners on in the ninth as Jonah Bride and Matt Williams singled, but a flyout and double play ended the game.
Stokes had another solid performance, going 3-for-4 with the solo home run, while Bride added two hits. Wilkie and Cromwell drove in a pair of runs apiece for Clemson.
Morris went 3 1/3 innings for the Gamecocks, striking out four and allowing four hits and three runs to take the loss. TJ Shook ate up some innings out of the bullpen. He struck out three in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.
South Carolina and Clemson wrap up the three-game set tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, March 4) with a 2 p.m. start at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.
USC men lose in basketball at Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. — South Carolina (16-15, 7-11 SEC) concluded the regular season on Saturday, suffering a 79-70 loss on the road at No. 14/15 Auburn (25-6, 13-5 SEC). Graduate transfer guard Frank Booker led the Gamecocks with the first double-double of his career, posting a team and career high 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds in the loss. Junior forward Chris Silva collected his eighth double-double of the season before fouling out late in the second half, scoring 19 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.
South Carolina jumped out to an early advantage, which stretched to 14 points with 9:17 remaining in the first half, as sophomore forward Maik Kotsar’s lay-in would make it 25-11 Gamecocks. Auburn would slowly chip away at the advantage however, and a 3 from Auburn’s Chuma Okeke with 3:51 to play before the break would pull the Tigers within two at 26-24.
The Tigers pulled within one, but Silva and rookie forward Felipe Haase would answer with consecutive lay-ups and the Gamecock advantage was back to five at 32-27 with two minutes to go in the half. Auburn’s Bryce Brown would finish the half with his fourth 3-pointer with a minute to go, but Booker would answer for Carolina late, and the Gamecocks held a 37-35 upper hand at the break.
Auburn would tie the contest early in the second half, and another 3 from Brown would give the Tigers a 49-43 lead with 14 minutes to play. Silva scored on back-to-back dunks with nine minutes to play to pull the Gamecocks within two at 51-49, but Auburn answered, and free throws would push the Tiger lead back to seven with just under seven minutes to go.
From there, Auburn would hold its advantage, leading by as many as 12 the rest of the way. A final 3 from Booker with a minute to play would pull the Gamecocks within six but the Tigers pushed the lead back to double-digits with just over 20 seconds to play. Auburn clinched at least a share of the SEC title with the victory.
South Carolina (16-15, 7-11 SEC) will be the No. 11 seed in next week’s 2018 SEC Tournament in St. Louis, Mo., and will face 14th-seeded Ole Miss (12-19, 5-13 SEC) on Wednesday night at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET, at the Scottrade Center.