COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's time to renew one of the great rivalries in college baseball. Carolina (6-3) and Clemson (6-2) battle on the diamond this weekend for the annual three-game series.
"Two great teams with two great programs," said USC head baseball coach Chad Holbrook. "Two great fan bases that are very vocal in the stands. It makes it a unique college baseball atmosphere."
The series begins on Friday at Clemson with first pitch at 6:30 p.m. Game two of the series shifts to Greenville at Fluor Field with game time set for 1 p.m. The series wraps up in Columbia on Sunday with first pitch slated for 1:30 p.m.
"The Friday game is going to set the tone for the weekend," said USC catcher Chris Cullen. "If we can get a 'W' that Friday, it would be huge for us."
Starting pitcher for the Gamecocks on Friday, Clarke Schmidt, agrees with the importance of winning game one.
"If you win, especially in this rivalry, that's huge," said Schmidt. "I am going to try to go deep into the game and save the bullpen."
The toughest task for the Gamecocks this weekend will be trying to limit the damage done by Seth Beer's bat. The Tigers sophomore earned 2016 National Player of the year honors.
"He's obviously the best hitter in college baseball," said Holbrook. "You have to be extremely careful. There's not a better hitter in college baseball."
Carolina's won 25 of the last 37 contests between the two schools dating back to the 2007 season. Clemson though won the season series in 2016.