CLEMSON — A day after being named National and ACC Player of the Week, Clemson’s Billy Amick started his case for next week’s awards.
The Tigers’ designated hitter added two more hits and five RBIs to his season totals, while leading No. 7 Clemson to its ninth straight win in a 12-2 victory over USC Upstate Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The game was called in the bottom of the eighth due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Last week, Amick successfully hit 11 times in 20 at-bats, while hitting two home runs and driving in nine runs. He also scored eight times and had a 1.050 slugging percentage.
“It is very impressive. He is being very humble about it,” Clemson second baseman Riley Bertram said about Amick’s impressive performance over the last month of the season. “I actually get a front row (seat) right behind him because I am in the six-hole. So, it is pretty cool to see him do it, but he has been doing it consistently. It has been huge for our team.”
Against the Spartans, Amick drove in a run in the first, two in the third and two more in the fifth inning. He also scored once and finished the evening 2-for-2.
“For him to come up in that five hole and to add another power spot and battling his butt off with two strikes, as well, it has been cool. It has been good for the team, and it is something that we look forward to watching,” Bertram said.
Will Taylor had another good night. The Columbia native went 2-for-2, drove in one run, and scored three times to help the Clemson cause. Benjamin Blackwell later hit a three-run bomb to right field, which gave the Tigers a 10-2 lead through seven innings.
The Tigers (36-17) wasted little time getting on the scoreboard against the Spartans, as they plated two runs in the first inning on three hits. Following a one-out double from Cooper Ingle down the rightfield line, Taylor singled up the middle to bring Ingle home for the game’s first run.
“You have to be able to play one game and one pitch at a time. It takes a lot of discipline in order to do that, it is much easier said than done. Obviously, the league standings and the weight of the conference is valued more heavily at this point of the season, so it would have been very easy to have a letdown tonight. But that is a credit to our team. They would not allow that to happen.”
Caden Grice hit safely through the right side to move Taylor to third, setting up Amick’s sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Taylor.
Clemson increased its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a two-out hit up the middle from Amick, scoring Ingle and Taylor.
After USC Upstate (34-19) scored a run in the top of the fourth inning, the Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning for a 7-1 lead. All three runs came with two outs, as Amick doubled to right center to plate Can Cannarella and Taylor and Riley Bertram drove in Amick with a base knock up the middle.
Stat of the Game: The Tigers were 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Player of the Game: Amick continues to smoke the baseball. The sophomore’s 2-for-2 night upped his batting average to .422 for the season, while his five RBIs increased his total to 46, three back of Grice for the team lead.
Key Moment: USC Upstate cut Clemson’s lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning, but the Tigers put the game away in the fifth inning when Amick drove in two runs and Riley Bertram a third.
Up Next: Clemson will host North Carolina to close out the ACC regular season with a three-game series beginning on Thursday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
–photo courtesy of Clemson Athletics
Want to join in on the discussion? 100% FREE! Interact with fellow Tiger fans and hear directly from publisher Zach Lentz, deputy editor Brad Senkiw, recruiting analyst Jason Priester and staff writer Will Vandervort on any subject. Click here to become a member of the ALL CLEMSON message board community today!
Do us a HUGE favor and like, subscribe and follow us on social media:
►LIKE us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allclemson
►FOLLOW All Clemson on Twitter:https://twitter.com/All_Clemson