Greenville, SC - Saturday's Reedy River Rivalry presented by ScanSource produced a thrilling game from start to finish between the Clemson Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks, and to add to the excitement of the afternoon, Fluor Field unveiled its new enhancements before 7,460 fans, which set a new single-game attendance record.
Among the Fluor Field enhancements on display on Saturday were the all-new Champions Club presented by Hubbell Lighting, the Rooftop at Fluor Field, new entrance plazas at Main Street and Field Street, and Green Monster seats, which were the landing spot of a home run by South Carolina's Jonah Bride during the day's action.
"The Reedy River Rivalry presented by ScanSource is always a special day for the Drive organization, and between unveiling the all-new Fluor Field and hosting a record crowd, today was an extremely meaningful day that Greenville can be proud of," said Drive Owner and Team President Craig Brown. "This rivalry with these loyal fans was the perfect setting for us to show off the latest enhancements at Fluor Field, and today gives us great momentum as we approach the Drive's Opening Day in April."
"The atmosphere here is second to none, and it's always one of the most electrifying crowds to play in front of," added Clemson Head Coach Monte Lee, Saturday's winning coach. "This is an incredible venue, and the crowd was fantastic today, with a ton of support from both fanbases. It doesn't get any better than playing your rival here at Fluor Field. It was an unbelievable experience for our guys."
The attendance bested the previous attendance record of 7,216, which was set during last year's Reedy River Rivalry at Fluor Field. In total, all seven of the Clemson-South Carolina matchups in Downtown Greenville rank among the venue's top ten single-game attendance marks.
Saturday began with the Reedy River Rivalry Tailgate Party on Main Street at 11:00 AM. The event featured food and drink, live music from Cassidy Lynn and Two Story Road, entertainment for fans of all ages and a chance for Clemson and South Carolina fans to enjoy the atmosphere of the rivalry.
The game itself was exciting from the first pitch to the last, as Clemson overgame a 5-2 deficit entering the seventh inning and came away with an 8-7 victory. The win allowed Clemson to even the weekend series at one game apiece, and it gave them their second consecutive win over the Gamecocks in Greenville.
Clemson made their move in the seventh inning, scoring twice to cut the Gamecocks lead to 5-4, and following a Reed Rohlman triple to lead off the eighth, Chase Pinder delivered a game-tying single to tie things up.
The ninth inning was a wild ride for both teams. After a South Carolina pitching change with one out, Patrick Cromwell smacked a solo homer to put the Tigers ahead 6-5. A walk and a fielder's choice tacked on two more runs, which would prove to be crucial in the bottom half, as South Carolina scored twice on a Jacob Olson RBI double and an error. Clemson closer Ryley Gilliam came up big with the tying run on base, striking out Alex Destino to end the game.
The Tigers struck first in the top of the first courtesy of Seth Beer, who crushed a two-run homer to right field that traveled 425 feet and gave Clemson a 2-0 lead. South Carolina answered with a run in the bottom half when Jonah Bride singled home Justin Row, who tripled with one out.
After a shaky first frame, Gamecocks starter Wil Crowe settled in, retiring 14 straight over the middle innings, and he struck out six over his six innings of work.
The Gamecocks scored four times between the fourth and sixth innings to take the lead. TJ Hopkins hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth to tie the game at two, and Bride belted a two-run home run to the new Green Monster seats in the fifth to put South Carolina on top. A Clemson error allowed another South Carolina run to score in the sixth.
Rohlman, Andrew Cox and Logan Davidson each delivered two hits for the Tigers. Bride powered the Gamecocks with two hits and four RBI, while Olson, Row, Danny Blair and Matt Williams chipped in with two hits apiece.
"There is no better rivalry in college baseball than Clemson vs. South Carolina, and setting a record attendance was a fitting way to conclude an exciting day at the all-new Fluor Field," noted Drive General Manager Eric Jarinko. "Clemson and South Carolina fans came out in full force and provided an electric atmosphere for what proved to be a terrific game, and we thank them for their continued support. We couldn't be more excited to welcome the Reedy River Rivalry presented by ScanSource back to Fluor Field in 2018."