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Baseball Series Preview: Clemson vs South Carolina

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Friday’s game is postponed due to inclement weather, but college baseball’s best rivalry resumes on Saturday.

Clemson v South Carolina baseball Jeff Blake/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Once again, the Tigers and Gamecocks will duke it out on the diamond for state bragging rights. This year, there’s a bit extra riding on the three game series. Due to COVID-19, Clemson and South Carolina have not gotten to face each other in many sports, including football and men’s or women’s basketball. Clemson men’s soccer knocked off South Carolina 3-0 back in October, and women’s soccer will get to face the Gamecocks in April as a part of the spring schedule. As such, the baseball series is the marquee matching in the Palmetto rivalry this year.

Clemson baseball opened up with a solid series sweep of the Cincinnati Bearcats last weekend. South Carolina also opened up with a big sweep over the Dayton Flyers. The Cocks also got a nice 12-4 Tuesday evening win over Winthrop.

Offensively, it’s been all about Gamecock catcher Wes Clarke. Clarke has started off blistering hot, hitting .769 with six homers through four games, including three homers on Tuesday against Winthrop. Clemson’s young pitching staff will have to find a way to keep him in check.

Pitching wise, the Gamecocks were going to send RS Junior Thomas Farr out Friday night to face off with Clemson ace Davis Sharpe. My guess is we will now probably see the Farr-Sharpe matchup on Saturday. Clemson veteran Mat Clark was tabbed to get his first start of the year on Saturday, with freshman Ty Olenchuck getting the Sunday nod. It will be interesting to see how Monte shakes up the rotation with the weather. A good possibility is to start Sharpe and Olenchuck respectively, and keep Clark in the relief role he had last weekend.

Friday evening’s game at Doug Kingsmore stadium has been postponed due to weather. The game will be made up on May 11th. Saturday’s game will be at Greenville’s Flour Field at 4:00 PM on. Sunday’s first pitch will be at 1:30 PM. Both games can be seen on the SEC Network +. All games can be heard online through ClemsonTigers.com but or on the radio via WCCP FM or participating radio stations in the Clemson Tiger or South Carolina Gamecock Sports Networks.

Clemson leads the all time series 181-141-2. Clemson has had a hot run as of lately. Clemson is 5-1 in series wins vs South Carolina since 2014, including a 4-1 record under head coach Monte Lee. Clemson took last year’s series 2-1, winning Friday night in Columbia when Sam Weatherly went seven hitless innings and picking up a come from behind win on Sunday in Columbia.