CLEMSON - After a stirring sweep through the NCAA Regional Tournament at home, Clemson's baseball team finds itself just two victories away from another trip to the College World Series.
But after playing three games before large, supportive home crowds at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this past weekend, the Tigers (42-21) will have to negotiate those two wins in hostile territory. Clemson travels to Waco, Texas this weekend to face No. 4 national seed Baylor in the NCAA Super Regionals.
The best two-of-three series opens at 11 a.m. Saturday and continues at 3 p.m. Sunday. A time for a third game (if necessary) on Monday has yet to be determined.
All times are Central Time.
"Our kids deserve to be here," head coach Jack Leggett said. "They took care of business over the weekend, and our fans did a tremendous job. We talked about how important it was to host a Regional, and I think now they understand what we meant."
The crowds at Baylor won't be nearly as friendly this weekend, of course. But at least one Tiger welcomes the challenge of playing on the road.
"You have to play on the road if you make it to Omaha," said graduated pitcher Jeff Hahn. "We might as well start a week early."
Clemson will workout today at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, then depart for Waco on Thursday morning.
Thursday and Friday workouts at Baylor will precede Saturday's series opener, perhaps giving Tiger players a chance to adjust to the expected heat. The extended forecast is calling for temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s in Waco all weekend.
Baylor enters the Super Regional with an identical record to Clemson - 42-21. The Bears currently are ranked No. 6 in the latest Baseball America poll. The Tigers are No. 13.
The Bears are hitting just .269 as a team entering the series, but their team earned run average is 3.30. Baylor has four different pitchers with at least seven victories, led by Abe Woody (9-3, 2.79).
The following is the schedule for the Waco Super Regional:
Saturday, 12:00 PM EDT, ESPNU
(Clemson will be the visiting team and be in the 1st base dugout)
Sunday, 4:00 PM EDT, ESPN
(Clemson will be the home team and be in the 3rd base dugout)
Monday, TBA, TV is TBA
(coin flip will determine home team)
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.