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Clemson vs. South Carolina Baseball Preview

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A look at this weekend's series between Jack Leggett's Tigers and Chad Holbrook's Gamecocks in the annual Reedy River Rivalry Series.

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

A critical series looms this weekend for the Clemson Baseball program and its embattled head coach Jack Leggett. Leggett and Co. have been coming under fire recently for not being able to beat the Gamecocks the past few years especially after last season when the Tigers got swept by the Cocks after having a chance to take 2 out of 3. The pressure has never been higher on Coach Leggett to win this series. Personally, I feel that winning the series against the coots is the first step for Jack Leggett to convince DRAD that he should be the coach next year. The second step is to at least host a regional or make it to a super regional after the end of the regular season, but we'll get to that when the time comes. If the Tigers can't escape this weekend with at least a series win, Coach Leggett should be squarely on the hot seat.

Here's what to look for this weekend

Expected Pitching Matchups

Friday (Clemson)- Wil Crowe (USC) vs Matthew Crownover (Clemson)

Saturday (Greenville)- Jack Wynkoop (USC) vs Zack Erwin (Clemson)

Sunday (Columbia)- TBA (USC) vs Brody Koerner (Clemson)

This series proves to be a critical one for the Tigers especially Jack Leggett. After the football Tigers took care of business against the Coots in November, the baseball Tigers have a chance to make it 2 out of 3 against USC in the 'Big 3' sports. The triple crown isn't possible because Brad Brownell's basketball Tigers fell flat against Frank Martin's Gamecocks in Columbia in December.

The Tigers struggled with errors and clutch hitting against West Virginia over Opening Weekend but found their groove last weekend against Maine. The pitching has been surprisingly solid at the start of the season but to come away this weekend with a series win, the errors need to be kept to a minimum by the Tigers' defense and the amount of men left on base will also have to be kept to a minimum. Those are two areas where the Tigers have been inconsistent to start the year.

The Coots prove to be a much tougher challenge than Maine or West Virginia so the Tigers have their work cut out for them this weekend. We'll see how the Tigers fare against a tough Gamecock pitching staff but after solidifying the lineup with Reed Rohlman in left field and in the 2 hole in the lineup, the offense has been getting more production. Having a regular, solidified lineup now will help immensely this weekend and for the rest of the season. If we can't win this series, DRAD will have to take another long look at the baseball program after the season barring a miraculous postseason run.