This could finally be the weekend where Clemson exacts revenge on South Carolina and shifts the rivalry's momentum back towards the Upstate.
Clemson enters NCAA Tournament play as the No. 2 seed in the Columbia
Regional while nationally seeded South Carolina begins the push a
third-straight College World Series title.
Not only would a regional win knock the rival Gamecocks out of tournament
play, but it could help the Tigers exorcise their recent postseason
demons. However, there is business to take care of Friday at 12 p.m. when
Clemson meets No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina.
A veteran of two NCAA Tournaments, pitcher Kevin Brady knows that
no team is to be taken lightly in postseason play.
"You've got to worry about that first game, to get to the next one," he
said. "You can't look ahead until you take care of that first game."
This year's first game is one that no one from Clemson is taking lightly.
Earlier this month, Coastal Carolina (41-17) won its sixth consecutive Big
The Chanticleers also beat the Tigers 10-7 in their April 24 meeting at Doug
In addition, Coastal Carolina enters the Columbia Regional with the second-best team ERA in the country at 2.53.
"Coastal, they're not a team to overlook. If we do, we're going to get it
handed to us," said Phil Pohl, who's batting .288 with eight homers
and 50 RBI.
"We're going to be focused on Coastal."
As one might imagine, Brady and Pohl mirrored the perspective taken by
"You've got to play one game at a time. You can't look past anybody or
you're going to find yourself in trouble real quick," Leggett said.
No matter the opponent, Richie Shaffer knows the Tigers will be
playing in hostile territory at this weekend.
"Even if we're not playing South Carolina, there will be a lot of people
that don't like the color orange," he said. "It's going to be a lot of
fun. We've got to take a depth breath, keep our composure and make sure we
But the chance to knock off the two-time defending national champions at
Carolina Stadium does present a pretty sweet opportunity for the Tigers.
"I'd be lying to say we wouldn't want to play them in the finals… that's a
pretty historic rivalry and it'd be intense games," Shaffer said. "We're
not trying to look forward to anything, as tough as it is. We're just
trying to take it one game at a time."
Tigers can't overlook Coastal
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