It’s that time of the spring again. Nope, not spring football practice, or NFL draft talk, and definitely not March Madness stuff at this point. It’s Rivalry Week on the baseball diamond in SC.
Like every season since 2010, the teams will play in three different ballparks. Game one on Friday at Founders Park in Columbia, with first pitch set for 7pm. Game two takes place at Segra Park, home of the Fireflies, which is also in Columbia. The finale takes place on Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, with a 2pm scheduled start time.
The Tigers currently lead the series against the Gamecocks 179-140-2. This includes a 99–46 record at home, a 68-84-2 record on the Gamecock’s home field, and a record of 12-10 on neutral fields.
Saturday’s game will mark the first time these teams have played a neutral site game in Columbia, and it is being billed as The Battle of Bull Street. Since 2010, all but one have been played in Greeneville, at Fluor Field. On a side note, what is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the words “Bull Street?”
Clemson will be the designated home team and will occupy the third base dugout on Saturday at Segra Park. In their first and only game played in the stadium, the Tigers defeated College of Charleston 4-1 on March 20th of last year. The ballpark just opened in 2016 and is home to the New York Mets Class A affiliate, the Columbia Fireflies.
Clemson has played all eight of their games so far this season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. After winning their first seven, they fell for the first time on Tuesday when East Tennessee beat them 5-3.
The Tigers offense is averaging only 3.0 runs per game and are hitting just .243 as a team, with a .357 on-base percentage. The Tigers also have a .326 slugging percentage and have swiped 15 bases.
The pitching has been downright dominant to start the season. The staff has a 1.23 ERA, opponents are hitting just .189 against them, and they have a 2.68 strikeout to walk ratio. Seven of Clemson’s eight games have been decided by two runs.
This series could be exciting. The Tigers come in with a record of 7-1, while the Gamecocks come in at 6-2. Clemson is coming off of their first loss, while UofSC got a 6-5 win over North Florida on Tuesday, after dropping two of three to Northwestern last weekend. Can Clemson’s pitching keep rolling? Can the bats wake up, and give the pitchers any help at all?
Tune in this weekend to find out. All three games are available to stream on the ESPN app.