Inside the Clemson-USC Series: Close games haven't been kind to Tigers

Clemson baseball

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson baseball

The Clemson-South Carolina series has been as hotly-contested as any in college baseball over the last five years, with over half of the games decided by two runs or less.

Outside of the friendly confines of Doug Kingsmore, the Tigers haven’t had much go their way, winning twice in 16 games.

Diving into the numbers in the last five seasons…

Games decided by two runs or less: 13 (52 percent, USC with a 10-3 record).

Records: Decided by two runs or less at Doug Kingsmore - 3-1 Clemson.

Records: Decided by two runs or less at South Carolina - 3-0 USC.

Records: Decided by two runs or less at a neutral site/tournament - 6-0 USC.

Average Runs Scored in Win (Clemson): 9 (Tigers have averaged 5.2 runs per in the series since the change to the bats).

Average Runs Scored in Win (USC): 6.5.

Overall Record at Doug Kingsmore: 5-4 Clemson (Tigers haven’t lost at home in the three-game, three-site format over the last three seasons).

Overall Record at South Carolina (Regular Season): 7-2 USC.

Overall Record at Neutral Site (Regular Season): 3-0 USC.

Overall Record: 18-7 USC.

Firth leading Tiger pitching

Senior righty Scott Firth has been impressive.

Clemson USC similar headed into rivalry series

Series starts in Clemson Fri.

At 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA, Firth has yet to allow a hit to a left-handed bat in 15 tries per Seldom Used Reserve, and against righties, he has struck out seven with just two walks.

Among starters, right-hander Daniel Gossett leads the way in strikeout percentage (24.49), ringing up 12 and walking three so far.

Four relievers have made more than one appearance and not surrendered an earned run: RHP side-armer Kyle Schnell (3 app./3 K/2 H/0 BB), RHP Matt Campbell (3 app./2 saves/3 K/2 H/1 R), RHP side-armer Clay Bates (2 app./4 H/1 K/0 BB), Joseph Moorefield (2 app./2 K/0 H/0 BB).

USC's Dantzler, Pankake among returners that have made some noise in series

Gamecocks first baseman LB Dantzler is hitting .542 with three homers and 13 RBIs this season, and hit .350 with a home run and two RBIs last season against the Tigers.

USC shortstop Joey Pankake hasn’t had quite that start (.353 BA/2 R/4 RBI), but scored five runs (including two game-winners) with two RBIs last year in the series that extended into the postseason.

Bonus: Games Decided by Two Runs or Less (Last Five Seasons)

’12: 4-3 USC at Carolina Stadium in a regional to end the season.

5-4 USC at Carolina Stadium in regional in the 12th inning.

6-5 Clemson in Clemson.

3-2 USC in Charleston in the 11th inning.

’11: 5-4 USC in Greenville.

’10 4-3 USC at the College World Series to close the season.

7-5 USC in Greenville.

4-3 Clemson in Clemson.

’09: 7-5 Clemson in Clemson.

7-6 USC at South Carolina.

3-1 USC in Clemson.

’08: None.

’07: 4-2 USC at South Carolina.

3-2 USC at South Carolina.

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