CLEMSON - Game three of the yearly four-game series between Clemson and South Carolina takes place tonight at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, and at least one interested bystander believes the get-together will be another classic between the instate rivals.
"I expect it to be a battle," USC play-by-play voice Mike Morgan. "Clemson's got a lot of young talent, and you can tell they're playing with a lot of confidence right now."
The Tigers (18-13) are coming off a Jekyl and Hyde week which saw them lose a pair of tough games to the University of Georgia, sweep a three-game series against ACC bottom-feeder Duke, then have a game halted with Western Carolina Tuesday night due to rain.
But for head coach Jack Leggett, the Duke series began what he termed a 28-game season for the Tigers. What happens to the team from here on out will be determined by how they fare in that span, he said.
"All of our goals are still there in front of us," Leggett said Tuesday. "We can't control what's already happened this season. All we can do is learn from it and try to get better each day. But everywhere we want to go, we can still get there if we take care of business from this point on."
For the fourth-ranked Gamecocks (28-5), tonight's game is not only a chance to continue in-state dominance this season. It's a chance to maintain a swell of momentum built after a rare three-game sweep of LSU in Baton Rouge over the weekend.
"You go into LSU and expect maybe to win one game," Morgan said. "Every now and again you might take two and win a series. But almost never do you go there and sweep them. It was a great weekend for the Gamecocks."
South Carolina took the first two games with Clemson earlier this year by scores of 6-3 and 6-5.
Tonight's third game between the teams will see each bypass weekend starters, saving those pitchers for games of consequence in the conference.
Clemson will start righthander Steven Faris (2-1, 0.50 ERA). The Gamecocks will counter with redshirt freshman righthander Andrew Cruse (3-0, 2.49).
First pitch in Clemson is set for 7:15 p.m.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.