The best rivalry in college baseball is back, as the Gamecocks (6-3) and the Tigers (6-2) face off this weekend. Though both teams have had a couple of rough early season games, this year’s series is a top-15 matchup and will be as heated as ever.
The pressure on South Carolina feels a bit higher this season than it has over the past few years. The Gamecocks have dominated the rivalry for the better part of the last decade, going 25-12 against the Tigers (including a 4-0 postseason record) since 2006. But Clemson has won the series for the past two seasons and South Carolina needs to tip the balance back in their direction.
The Tigers dropped their opening series to Wright State, but have won five games since then, beating Western Carolina, Elon and Wofford. Inconsistency by Clemson’s pitching staff was cited as an area of concern in our Q&A with STS, but the Tigers are no pushover on the mound. The Clemson pitchers are especially good at striking opponents out, and they don’t give out many free bases. Between the pitching potential and the offensive talent that the Tigers have, the Gamecocks will have their hands full this weekend. The Carolina pitching staff will need to continue to perform at a high level and the hitters will have to take advantage of every opportunity that they get to provide the run support that has sometimes been absent early this season.
USC vs Clemson Stats
On Friday the Gamecocks will start junior RHP Clarke Schmidt (0.69 ERA, 14 SO, 3 BB). The Friday starter for Clemson will be Charlies Barnes (1.46 ERA, 17 SO, 1 BB), a junior LHP. Junior RHP Wil Crowe (0.79 ERA, 16 SO, 2 BB) will take the mound for Carolina on Saturday. The Tigers will start another lefty, senior pitcher Pat Krall (3.86 ERA, 10 SO, 4 BB). Sophomore RHP Adam Hill (1.50 ERA, 13 SO, 4 BB) will start for the Gamecocks in the series finale on Sunday. Clemson will also start a sophomore right-hander on Sunday, sending Alex Eubanks (3.97 ERA, 13 SO, 1 BB) to the mound.
Game 1: Friday 6:30 p.m., Doug Kingsmore Stadium (Clemson, SC)
Game 2: Saturday 1 p.m., Fluor Field (Greenville, SC)
Game 3: Sunday 1:30 p.m., Founders Park (Columbia, SC)
The Friday game can be watched online via ACC Network Extra. The Saturday game will be online via MiLB TV. The Sunday game will be available online via SEC Network Plus.
All three games can be heard on 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network