Alden Mathes
Alden Mathes

Clemson Baseball Wins Big Against USC Upstate

The hits just keep on coming for the Tigers.

The #2 ranked Clemson Tigers (24-3, 7-2 ACC) baseball team won 11-1 against USC Upstate (18-12, 7-2 Big South) to win the season series under the lights on a beautiful night at Fluor Field on Tuesday.

Billy Barlow pitched a clean and efficient game through five, supported by the Tiger bats getting eleven runs in just 5 innings, and Clemson got a run-rule victory to end the game in just seven innings.

This is the same USC Upstate team that Clemson beat back in late February thanks to 5 home runs – including 3 by Will Taylor in his coming out party for the season. He wouldn’t need that tonight, but instead reached base 3 times on 3 walks. This time the runs were left up to mostly Cam Canarella (2-4, 3 RBIs) and Alden Mathes (2-4, 3 RBIs). Blake Wright and Jacob Jarrell would also add 2 RBIs between them.

As the designated away team, Cannarella started the Tigers off in the top of the 1st with a 1-1 single up the left field gap, but after getting moved to 2nd on a Mathes putout at first, Wright and Nawrocki popped out to right in-between a Hinderleider walk, and the top of the first would be over.

Barlow would get off to a good start. After USC Upstate’s leadoff man Gernon got out on a slow roller to Billy, their second batter Hamilton would single on a blooper to right. Barlow would bounce back to get Sherrod who grounded out to first base. After walking a batter, Barlow would strike out Sullivan to end the inning.

The runs would come quickly after the 1st.

Will Taylor lead off the 2nd with a walk, followed by a Bissetta walk of his own. Blauser then forced the fielder’s choice at 2nd base and moves Taylor over to third, with two on and one out. Jarrell draws a walk to fill the bases for the top of the order. This chases the Spartan’s starting pitcher, Ellingworth, and brings in Matthew Curtis in relief.

Cam Cannarella then hits a ball through the left field gap and drives in two to give the lead to the Tigers. Mathes follows that with a triple to drive in the next two runners to make it 4-0 Clemson. Wright hits a bouncer to the third baseman to drive in Mathes on the sacrifice, making it 5-0 Tigers. This would be the first crooked number the Tigers would hang tonight.

After a 1-2-3 bottom of the second for Barlow, Will Taylor gave another productive at-bat by taking first base off a hit-by-pitch from Curtis. Bissetta then flew out to the third baseman who made an athletic play to make the catch in foul territory. Blauser would then hit a slow-roller that gets by the third baseman to mark both runners safe at first and second. Jarrell would then single to center to drive in Taylor, making it 6-0 Tigers.

After a 1-2-3 top of the 4th for Spartan pitching, Barlow would have a one-out strikeout in the dirt that saw the runner reach at first, but follow that up by getting the double play to end the inning.

In the top of the 5th, Taylor and Bissetta draw walks which would bring on a new pitcher, Aaron Kuskie, for the Spartans. Blauser would pop out during his at bat, but Jarrell would hit a hard line drive to deep right to drive home Taylor and secure a standup double to make the score 8-0.

With two runners on and one out, Mathes would drive in Jarrell from 3rd with a grounder that sneaks out to right field. It would be 9-0 Tigers. Wright would then hit a single to shallow left to drive home the tenth Clemson run in only 5 innings. 10-0.

A wild pitch would allow the runner on third, Mathes, to take home and make it 11-0 Tigers.

USC Upstate would respond in the bottom half of the 5th by driving in their first run of the game from second on a single up the middle.

Billy Barlow

Billy Barlow would finish his night with 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER. Joe Allen would come in to take care of the Spartans in the sixth, followed by Freshman Justin LeGuernic who would take the ball for the bottom of the 7th, to shut it down. 1-2-3 go the Spartans, and the Tigers win for a run-rule victory in 7.

When asked what worked well for Billy Barlow, tonight, he credited the pitching coach:

Tempo, going up there and throwing a lot of strikes. You know, Coach Bellinger kinda focuses on throwing a lot of strikes… That really helped our team win.

On what a difference it makes to have the bats hitting behind him tonight:

Oh man, it makes it really easy, you know. Getting to come in the bunker, cool down a little bit, let the runs start flowing in.. It makes it really easy.

On the pitching staff’s success this year:

Super proud (of our pitching staff). Not only our pitching staff, but our whole team is relentless. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’re gonna play a Clemson brand of baseball, so that’s what we’re gonna do the rest of the year.

The Tigers hit the road this weekend in South Bend to face Notre Dame in a 3-game series matchup.

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