Sunday, March 6, 2016

Eubanks, Tigers make a statement

Redshirt freshman pitcher Alex Eubanks became the latest player to join the legends of the Clemson-South Carolina baseball series.

The right-hander from Byrnes High School allowed two hits and a run while striking out eight in 7 2/3 innings in his first career start as the Tigers beat South Carolina, 4-1, Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson won the final two games of the best-of-three series after USC won the opener.

"Oh, what a win today by our team," Clemson coach Monte Lee said in a video posted on "We were very fortunate to win today. It all started on the mound for us. Alex Eubanks did an excellent job."

Eubanks didn't have a 1-2-3 inning until the seventh, but by then he was coasting with the 4-1 lead.

"It was definitely awesome because this is the only place I've ever wanted to play," Eubanks said on "It was really cool for my first start to be against our rival. I was just trying to pitch to my strength and let my defense work. They did a phenomenal job the whole game"

The bottom portion of the Clemson (8-2) order contributed mightily to two-run uprisings in the third and fourth innings.

No. 8 hitter Adam Renwick was hit by pitch to lead off the the third inning. Andrew Cox bunted Renwick over and Chase Pinder and Reed Rohlman followed with RBI doubles.

After South Carolina (10-2) scored in the fourth in a double by Dom Thompson-Williams and a sacrifice fly, the lower part of the lineup delivered again in the bottom of the inning. No 6 hitter Chris Okey walked and went to second on Robert Jolly's single. Renwick bunted the runners over and Cox delivered a two-run single.

 "A lot of times you can tell the pulse of a ball club by the balance of the lineup and how much production you get at the bottom half of the order," Lee said. "I thought between Robert Jolly, Adam Renwick and Andrew Cox, those three guys did an outstanding job of finding ways to manufacture some runs."
"You have to congratulate Clemson," USC coach Chad Holbrook said in quotes posted on "They out-performed us, out-pitched us ... one run in the last 18 innings or so (for us). I think we have a better offensive team then what we showed the last 18 innings. You have to give credit to Clemson's pitchers. We will have to regroup and go back to work."

South Carolina plays host to Wofford on Tuesday. Clemson's next game is Wednesday at home against Winthrop.

Notes: Media selected Chase Pinder as winner of the Bob Bradley Award, given to the most  valuable player in the Clemson-USC series. Clarke Schmidt, who pitched USC to its Friday victory, earned the Tom Price Award as the Gamecocks' series MVP. The awards are named for the former Sports Information Directors at the two schools.

Sunday's attendace of 6,524 was a Doug Kingsmore Stadium record. The 8,242 in Columbia on Friday matched the Founders Park single-game record and the 7,215 at Fluor Field in Greenville. Total attendance was 21,982.

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