Clemson’s Kevin Bradley picked a good time to hit his first career home run.
The New Jersey native launched the first pitch he saw in the ninth inning over the left field wall for a three-run homer to give the 17th-ranked Tigers a come-from-behind 8-7 victory against USC Upstate on Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The freshman entered the game hitting .132 with five hits and two RBIs. He had made three starts on the season before Tuesday.
“It’s definitely one I won’t forget,” Bradley said. “I was just looking for a fastball out over the plate and that’s what I got. I got a pretty good piece of the bat on it. It was definitely relieving when it hit the seats.”
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Clemson trailed 7-5 entering the bottom of the ninth but got a leadoff single from Garrett Boulware to start the frame.
After a groundout and passed ball, Tyler Krieger walked to give the Tigers runners at the corners and one out.
Bradley followed with his blast to give Clemson its eighth consecutive win.
The Tigers entered Tuesday’s contest looking to send their seniors out on a positive note in their last regular-season game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
USC Upstate pitcher Chris Cox had other ideas. The senior left-hander pitched seven innings, allowing four runs with one earned, in helping the Spartans jump to a 6-4 lead.
Scott Firth earned the win for Clemson, while Chad Sobotka suffered the loss for the Spartans.
Sobotka was attempting to tie the program record for saves in a career.
Clemson will travel to Florida State this weekend as it continues to make its case to host a regional in the NCAA tournament.
“We’ve got our fate in our own hands, so it’s just about going down there and playing good baseball and playing confidently,” Leggett said. “They’ve been playing well all year long so it should be a good challenge for us.”
|Stmplr 3b||4||1||1||0||Gibson dh||5||0||1||1|
|Bmgrdnr cf||5||1||4||0||Wlkrsn 2b||5||0||2||2|
|Weber c||4||1||1||1||Duggar rf||5||0||0||0|
|Greer ss/p||4||1||1||1||Blware c||5||1||1||0|
|Lesch lf||3||2||1||3||Knndy 3b||3||1||1||0|
|Pttrsn dh||4||0||1||1||Krieger ss||3||2||0||0|
|Smples ss||0||0||0||0||Brdley 1b||3||2||2||3|
|Sobotka p||0||0||0||0||Brittle cf||4||2||1||1|
|Rchrdsn 1b||5||0||2||1||Slaton lf||2||0||0||1|
|Seeba 2b||4||0||0||0||Cstgn ph||0||0||0||0|
|Miller rf||5||1||0||0||Triller lf||0||0||0||0|
|Totals 38||7||11||7||Totals 35||8||8||8|
1 out, 0 runners LOB when the game ended.
E—Stampler (17); Greer (14); Seeba (8); Kennedy (6); Krieger (12). LOB—Upstate 11; Clemson 10. 2B—Wilkerson (16). 3B—Lesch (3). HR—Bradley (1). HBP—Weber; Greer; Bradley; Slaton. SH—Lesch (3); Samples (4); Krieger (4). SB—Kennedy (17); Krieger (7); Brittle (19).
|Firth W, 6-4||1||1||1||1||1||1|
Schnell faced 2 batters in the 3rd.
WP—Greer (2). HBP—by Cox (Bradley); by Cox (Slaton); by Koerner (Weber); by Koerner (Greer). PB—Weber (3) Umpires—HP: Craig Mirr 1B: Jay Furlong 3B: Darion Padgett. T—2:57. A—4,736