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Clemson opens season with series sweep of Cincinnati. Gamecocks up next

Ty Olenchuk, who starred at Dutch Fork High School, was Clemson’s Saturday starting pitcher.

Ty Olenchuk, who starred at Dutch Fork High School, was Clemson’s Saturday starting pitcher.

Clemson Athletics

Clemson found different ways to win throughout college baseball’s opening weekend as the Tigers completed a three-game sweep of Cincinnati with an 8-7 victory Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

James Parker delivered a walk-off single to deep left-center in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Dylan Brewer and secure the walk-off victory and series sweep.

Sunday’s win came after back-to-back impressive performances on the mound as the Tigers won Game 1 5-0 and Game 2 5-2 on Friday and Saturday to open the season.

“We’re a tough club. We’ve got a bunch of tough kids in that dugout. A bunch of blue-collar guys in that dugout. My guys show up every day and compete and work hard and they’re ready to go,” Clemson coach Monte Lee said Saturday. “They’re going to do whatever’s asked of them to help us win a ball game. And that’s what they’ve done. It’s a selfless group. It’s a competitive group. They pull for each other.”

Davis Sharpe and Mat Clark combined for a two-hit shutout in Game 1 of the series Friday night. Sharpe (1-0) allowed one hit and walked one batter over five innings. He struck out nine of the 17 batters he faced to earn the win.

Clark struck out six over four innings while also allowing one hit to earn the save.

The Tigers clinched the series Saturday thanks in part to 4 2/3 shutout innings from Irmo native Ty Olenchuk. The freshman righty was outstanding in the first start of his college career, striking out three while allowing only two hits.

“I thought he did a great job … I don’t know if I could’ve asked for more out of Ty Olenchuk in his first career start,” Clemson coach Monte Lee said. “He was calm. He was cool and collected. But he’s also a very, very intense competitor.”

In Game 1, Jonathan French delivered the big blow, blasting a 3-run homer in the seventh.

In Game 2, Blake Wright was 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Dylan Brewer, Elijah Henderson, French and Bryce Teodosio also drove in runs.

Up next, the Tigers will face South Carolina in a three-game series. Game 1 is scheduled for Friday evening at 4 p.m. in Clemson. Game 2 is Saturday in Greenville at 4 p.m., with Game 3 scheduled for Sunday in Columbia at 1:30.

Matt Connolly is the Clemson University sports beat writer and covers college athletics for The State newspaper and TheState.com. Connolly graduated from USC Upstate in Spartanburg in 2011 and previously worked for The (Spartanburg) Herald Journal covering University of South Carolina athletics. He has been with The State since 2015. Connolly received an APSE top 10 award for beat reporting for his coverage of Clemson in 2019. He has also received several SCPA awards, including top sports feature in 2019.
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