Clemson and South Carolina to Renew Rivalry on the Diamond
Clemson, SC - Clemson, ranked #18 in two different polls, will play host to #6 South Carolina this weekend beginning Saturday at 1:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The two teams will meet again on Sunday at 1:30 PM at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia. The games will be broadcast live on the radio by Clemson Tiger Sports Properties and can be heard live via the internet at www.clemsontigers.com. Live stats will also be available for both games on Clemson's website.
The two teams have met 259 times, with Clemson holding a 152-105-2 lead in the series dating back to 1899. The two most recently met last season for a total of six games. The two teams split the six games, however South Carolina defeated Clemson twice in Omaha to advance to the championship game of the College World Series. Clemson won three of four regular-season games last year, including both games in Columbia.
Michael Johnson received the Bob Bradley Award as the top Tiger player in last year's Clemson-South Carolina regular-season series. He returns in 2003 to lead the Tiger offense. Clemson Head Coach Jack Leggett is 17-14 against South Carolina as the Tiger skipper and 20-22 overall. Leggett, in his 10th season as Clemson's head coach, is 53-27 (.663) against SEC teams while at Clemson. He also has 112 overall victories against ranked teams, more than any Clemson coach on record.
South Carolina (8-1) will start sophomore lefty Matt Campbell (1-0, 2.13 ERA) on Saturday, while Clemson (2-2) will counter with fellow sophomore lefthander Tyler Lumsden (1-0, 1.50 ERA). Campbell took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Duquesne in his last outing, while Lumsden earned the victory at #16 Auburn last weekend. The starters for the game on Sunday have yet to be determined. South Carolina sports a 3.07 team ERA and has struck out 85 against only 24 walks. The Tigers have a 5.73 team ERA and has walked only seven batters in four games, one of which was intentional.
South Carolina is hitting .336 as a team and is led by infielder Kevin Melillo, who is hitting .500 with two homers and six RBIs. Preseason All-America catcher Landon Powell leads the team in RBIs (11), while junior first baseman Hank Parks has hit a three of the Gamecocks' 12 team homers. Despite South Carolina's 8-1 record, Saturday's contest will be just its second game on an opponent's home field this year.
The Tigers are led at the plate by sophomore designated hitter Garrick Evans, who has eight hits in four games, double the amount of any other Tiger. Evans also has a homer, while Johnson has the team's other two long balls. Sophomore catcher Collin Mahoney, brother of Gamecock freshman catcher Ryan Mahoney, is hitting .300 as well.
Reserved tickets for Saturday's game are sold out. However, general admission/standing-room only tickets will go on sale for $5 at 11:30 AM Saturday at the stadium.