Austin Gordon ‘Sets Tone’ In Series Opening Win Over Gamecocks

Austin Gordon CU Athletics

CLEMSON, S.C.- The Clemson Tigers set the tone in the very first inning in its 5-2 win over No. 23 South Carolina on Friday.

Austin Gordon started the game by sitting the Gamecocks down in order, ending the top of the first inning by striking out Caleb Denny swinging. Gordon cruised through the first four innings, before exiting in the fifth with runners on second and third with two out.

Jackson Lindley and Casey Tallent would combine to finish off the in-state rivals, with each pitcher allowing a run on two hits.

“Gordo really set the tone, pitched very well. Just had some good stuff,” Bakich said. “Gave us over four strong innings. And then, with Jackson Lindley coming in and Casey Tallent finishing it up, it just split the game pretty well between those three guys.”

With Ryan Ammons out with an injury, Gordon’s performance came at an opportune time. Not only did he help Clemson snap a four game losing streak, but he did it on short rest. Something his head coach said was a testament to the kind of teammate Gordon is.

“It says a lot about him as a teammate, as a pitcher,” Bakich said. “It’s just the ability to perform whatever the team asks of him and needs of him. So for him to be on one day short rest and be able to go 90 plus pitches in four plus innings… I’m sure would have wished maybe he could have gone a little bit longer, but I thought for those four innings he was fantastic.”

With the victory, Clemson has now won five straight over its rival, the program’s longest winning streak in the series dating back to the 1995 and 1996 seasons when they won eight straight. The Tigers need just one more win this weekend to win the season series over South Carolina for the seventh time in nine seasons.

Gordon’s strong start also helped preserve what has been a shorthanded Clemson bullpen, and Bakich credited the performance for being one of the biggest reasons why the Tigers were able to come away with a key win in what was a crucial game for Clemson.

“He did a great job and gave us the start that we were hoping for. Just allowing our offense to establish a lead and to separate a little bit.”

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*Photo courtesy of Clemson Athletics

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