Prior to the season cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19, Monte Lee’s team looked sharp, jumping out to a 14-3 start and a top 25 ranking. The Tigers were tied with Notre Dame and Miami for first place in the ACC when the sporting world came to a halt in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Getting back onto the field in 2021 will bring an opportunity to finish the good foundation started by the shortened 2020 campaign. With that, STS takes a look at the 2021 schedule, highlighting some key matchups for the Tigers on their traditional Road to Omaha.
Key Series Matchups
Just as in football, the opener is always one of the biggest series’ on the schedule. This year, Clemson will open the season in a three-game series at home against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats are coming off a 7-8 campaign in 2020. Cincinnati participates in the American Athletic Conference, and will be the only out-of-conference three-game series the Tigers will play this season besides the annual South Carolina series.
Speaking of the Gamecocks, the rivalry series will be played on the second weekend of the year for both schools. The opener will be in Clemson before the series shifts to Greenville for the Saturday contest, concluding in Columbia in the series finale. The Tigers have owned this series lately, winning the weekend series every year but once since 2014. Monte Lee has a 4-1 series record against South Carolina.
Another key series for the Tigers will take place in Chapel Hill when Clemson takes on North Carolina. The Tigers swept the Tar Heels in their last regular season matchup in 2019 at Doug Kingsmore. Chapel Hill has not been a friendly place for Clemson, so this is a good series to tune into.
The Tigers will kick off the month of April in a three-game series at NC State. The Wolfpack are coming off of a 14-3 season as well, finishing in the top 10 of the Coaches’ Poll prior to the season cancellation. Another huge matchup for Clemson, as the Tigers and Wolfpack will most likely battle at the top of the ACC Atlantic standings.
Clemson will host the Virginia Cavaliers the following weekend in April, a huge series for both sides. The Tigers swept the last series between the two teams in 2018.
The Tigers get another huge home series against Louisville at the start of May. The Cardinals have been one of the top teams in the ACC and nationally for the last few years, but the Tigers had their number in their last contests in 2019, defeating Louisville in the season series and in the ACC tournament.
The last road series for Clemson will be in mid-May when the Tigers travel to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. Clemson will certainly look to break a tough skid to the ‘Noles, getting swept in 2019 and losing in the semifinals of the 2018 ACC tournament.
Key Individual Matchups
The Tigers have a handful of single game matchups during the season to highlight, including March 30th at home against Georgia. Clemson also hosts the College of Charleston on April 13th before traveling to Athens for a rematch with the ‘Dawgs on April 20th. The last individual matchup of the season will take place at DKS on May 5th versus USC Upstate.
There are plenty of highlights to look forward to if you’ve missed Clemson baseball like we have. The Tigers should have a good shot at winning the ACC and getting back to Omaha, something Clemson has gone a decade without doing for the first time since the 1980s. Below is the full schedule for 2021 season.
2021 baseball schedule
Bold indicates home game/series; * indicates ACC game/series
Feb. 19-21 Cincinnati
Feb. 26-28 South Carolina
Mar. 2 East Tennessee State
Mar. 5-7 Notre Dame*
Mar. 9 USC Upstate
Mar. 12-14 North Carolina*
Mar. 16 Georgia State
Mar. 19-21 Virginia Tech*
Mar. 23 Georgia Southern (neutral) (North Augusta, S.C.)
Mar. 26-28 Boston College*
Mar. 30 Georgia
Apr. 2-4 NC State*
Apr. 9-11 Virginia*
Apr. 13 College of Charleston
Apr. 16-18 Miami*
Apr. 20 Georgia
Apr. 23-25 Wake Forest*
Apr. 30-May 2 Louisville*
May 5 USC Upstate
May 7-9 Georgia Tech*
May 14-16 Florida State*
May 20-22 Duke*