It is time for the best in-state college baseball rivalry in America, the South Carolina versus Clemson clash. The Gamecocks and Tigers are set to square-off this weekend beginning with Game 1 tonight in Charleston. Game 2 will be in Columbia Saturday and Game 3 will be at Clemson.
Dating back to 2007, the Gamecocks have defeated Clemson in 14 of the last 20 meetings between the two schools. Safe to say, South Carolina has had the upper-hand in this battle of late and since it is a rival the game is uber important for trash-talking.
The Gamecocks are back-to-back National Championships and safe to say both teams are looking to get to Omaha. This series is a good early season measuring stick. So far this year, USC is off to a 7-0 start while Clemson is 4-2.
Speaking now about the series, USC will start its normal weekend rotation of lefthander Michael Roth on Friday, righty Matt Price on Saturday and right-hander Colby Holmes on Sunday. Clemson will start right-hander Kevin Brady Friday and righty Dominic Leone Saturday. Clemson has not named a Sunday starter.
Here is a quick stat comparison:
-Carolina team ERA: 0.83 (prior to the PC game)
-Clemson team ERA: 2.83
-Carolina opp. batting average: .102 (prior to PC)
-Clemson opp. batting average: .290
-Carolina pitching through 54 innings: 18 hits, 68 Ks, 12 walks
-Clemson pitching through 54 innings: 60 hits, 45 Ks, 16 walks
-Carolina batting (prior to PC): .292 avg, .349 on base percentage, .422 slugging percentage
-Clemson batting: .285 avg, .384 on base percentage, .440 slugging percentage
-Carolina fielding (prior to PC): .982
-Clemson fielding: .967
-Clemson Hitters to Watch: Pohl .476 2HR 9 RBI, Shaffer .364 2HR 8 RBI, Wilkerson .500 0HR 5 RBI
– USC Hitters to Watch: Walker .381 1HR 8 RBI, Marzilli .357 1Triple 4 RBI, Dantzler .200 2HR 9 RBI
LOHD Summary: This will be a battle for both teams. Clemson can be dangerous and USC, well they are the champs. The Gamecocks pitching will have to be spot on and the bats will have to get going early. Either team is capable of winning the series but look for USC to claim the crown again. Expect great plays, tense atmoshphere, weather delays and USC’s freshman to step up their play. USC wins 2 of 3.