Clemson-USC rivalry begins with primetime showdown

South Carolina pitcher Jordan Montgomery prepares to deliver in the fourth inning of the Gamecocks' NCAA Regional tournament game against Liberty on Saturday night at Carolina Stadium.


Mark Crammer Independent Mail

Photo by Mark Crammer

South Carolina pitcher Jordan Montgomery prepares to deliver in the fourth inning of the Gamecocks' NCAA Regional tournament game against Liberty on Saturday night at Carolina Stadium. Mark Crammer Independent Mail

One of the premier college baseball rivalries gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. in Columbia.

Notes and links…

Clemson-USC preview

Clemson’s Steven Duggar is leading a potent Tiger attack

Gossett ready for Friday start v. Gamecocks

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Clemson’s Palmetto products aim for a rivalry turnaround

SERIES SETUP

• Who - Clemson (6-1) vs. South Carolina (7-0)

• Rankings - CU - #11 BA, #16 CB, #16 USA; USC - #3 BA, #5 CB, #14 USA

• When - Friday (7 PM), Saturday (2 PM), Sunday (4 PM)

• Where - Columbia, SC (Carolina Stadium) Friday; Greenville, SC (Fluor Field) Saturday; Clemson, SC (Doug Kingsmore Stadium) Sunday

• Watch - Fox Sports South (Friday), WMYA (My 40) & ESPN3 (Saturday), TigerCast (Sunday)

• Listen - TigerCast, Clemson Tiger Sports Network

• Tickets (Sunday) - ClemsonTigers.com, 1-800-CLEMSON

• Promotion (Sunday) - Social Sunday. Show voucher at @ClemsonBaseball on Twitter/Instagram and receive $2 seasoned fries.

FAN FEST & TIGER WALK SATURDAY

• Fan Fest will be on Main Street outside of Fluor Field. Fan Fest opens at 10:00 AM.

• Clemson's bus will arrive at the corner of Main and Markley Street at Fluor Field at 11:00 AM. There will be a Tiger Walk into the stadium.

SERIES HISTORY

• Overall Record - Clemson leads 170-131-2 (1899-2013)

• Record at South Carolina - South Carolina leads 80-66-2 (1900-2013)

• Record at Neutral - Tied 8-8 (1899-2013)

• Record at Clemson - Clemson leads 96-43 (1907-2013)

STORIED RIVALRY

• South Carolina is Clemson's most-common opponent in history, as the two teams have faced off 303 times dating to 1899.

• The two have met at least one time every year since 1945, with the exception of 1984.

• South Carolina leads the series 6-2 at Carolina Stadium (opened in 2009).

• South Carolina leads the series 2-1 at Fluor Field (opened in 2006). The first game there between the two was in 2010.

• Clemson leads the series 49-26 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium (opened in 1970).

STARTING PITCHERS

Friday

South Carolina - Jordan Montgomery (Jr. LHP) 1 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 3 BB, 8 SO

Clemson - Daniel Gossett (Jr. RHP) 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 12.0 IP, 1 BB, 11 SO

Saturday

South Carolina - Jack Wynkoop (So. LHP) 2-0, 1.46 ERA, 12.1 IP, 2 BB, 16 SO

Clemson - Matthew Crownover (So. LHP) 2-0, 2.70 ERA, 10.0 IP, 1 BB, 13 SO

Sunday

South Carolina - Wil Crowe (Fr. RHP) 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.2 IP, 2 BB, 10 SO

Clemson - Jake Long (Jr. RHP) 1-0, 6.23 ERA, 8.2 IP, 1 BB, 5 SO

SOUTH CAROLINA OVERVIEW

• Led by second-year Head Coach Chad Holbrook.

• The Gamecocks swept Eastern Kentucky at home last weekend. They have not allowed a run in 51 consecutive innings over six games.

• Kyle Martin leads the team at the plate, going 12-for-24 (.500) with two homers and eight RBIs.

• USC junior lefty Jordan Montgomery hasn’t allowed a run in 33.2 IP.

• USC sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop leads the Gamecocks with 16 strikeouts.

• USC right-hander Wil Crowe has won SEC freshman of the week in the season’s first two weeks with a 2-0 record, four hits allowed over 12.2 IP with 10 strikeouts (.100 opp. BA).

• USC righty closer Joel Seddon has pitched 3.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts to no walks.

• South Carolina is 162-32 in all-time games at Carolina Stadium, a winning percentage of .835. That is the best winning percentage of all 14 SEC schools since opening the facility.

CLEMSON OVERVIEW

• Clemson defeated Presbyterian College 4-2 on Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium to extend the Tigers' winning streak to six games.

• The Tigers average 7.3 runs per game and hit .322 with a .388 on-base percentage and 17 steals.

• The pitching staff has a 2.81 ERA, .246 opponents' batting average, 4.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and .976 fielding percentage.

QUICK HITS

• Of Clemson's 35 players on its active roster, 15 are from the state of South Carolina.

• Steven Duggar and Tyler Krieger have hit safely in all seven games in 2014. Duggar is also riding a 16-game hitting streak dating to 2013.

• Freshman Chris Okey leads the team in RBIs (11), while both of Clemson's homers have been by players who came off the bench.

TIGERS 14-3 AT FLUOR FIELD

• Clemson has a 14-3 record at Fluor Field in Greenville, SC. That includes a six-game winning streak (2011-13).

• The Tigers have outscored the opposition 144-55 at Fluor Field.

• The only teams to defeat Clemson at Fluor Field are South Carolina (2010,11) and Presbyterian College (2011).

BOB BRADLEY AWARD PRESENTED SUNDAY

• Clemson's MVP of the South Carolina series will be presented the Bob Bradley Award. The Gamecocks' MVP will receive the Tom Price Award.

• The two late athletic communications directors served as baseball contacts for their respective schools for decades.

KRIEGER LEADING TEAM AT THE PLATE

• Sophomore infielder Tyler Krieger is 12-for-24 this season and is leading the team with a .500 batting average.

• He has a team-tying-high eight runs along with four walks against only one strikeout.

• He has started all 69 games of his Tiger career at shortstop and has a career fielding percentage of .953.

THE LAST TIME

The third weekend of the 2013 season featured college baseball's premier rivalry. For the fourth straight year, South Carolina and Clemson met in the unique three-game series format with each team hosting the other school with the third contest at a neutral site. The Gamecocks bookended the weekend with wins vs. the Tigers at Clemson and in Columbia to win the season series.

It would be southpaws Jordan Montgomery and Nolan Belcher that would steal the show for the Gamecocks.

Game one at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson featured Montgomery, who opened the series with eight scoreless innings of work in a 6-0 win over the Tigers. Montgomery did not allow a runner to reach third base as he limited the Tigers to three hits and two walks in the victory. Montgomery tied a career-high with eight innings pitched for the third time in his career and struck out a career-high nine batters in the victory.

Clemson answered in game two with a 6-3 victory at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. to set up a Sunday rubber game at Carolina Stadium. Clemson starting pitcher freshman Clate Schmidt was effective to earn the win and improve to 2-0 on the year. He allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Reliever Matt Campbell worked the final two innings to tally his third save of the season for the Tigers.

Friends on different sides of 'hatred'

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That set the stage for Nolan Belcher and the senior delivered. A capacity crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium witnessed Belcher's finest start in a Carolina uniform as the left-hander pitched a three-hit complete game shutout and was backed by an offense that scored five runs with two outs in the sixth inning as Carolina defeated Clemson 8-0 to clinch the weekend series. Belcher's complete game shutout was also the first by a Gamecock pitcher in the Clemson series since May 4, 1986 when Rodney Richey hurled a four-hit complete game shutout in a 5-0 victory vs. the Tigers at Sarge Frye Field.

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