Tigers Looking for Redemption

After a nine-game stretch where the Clemson baseball team won just four games, the Tigers have righted the ship to win seven of eight. But even with the team's recent string of success, South Carolina's two wins earlier in the year are still fresh in the minds of the Clemson players.

The No. 4 Gamecocks (28-8) pulled out an improbable 3-2 victory in the second meeting between the two teams in Columbia by scoring the winning runs off of then Clemson reliever Daniel Moskos.

However, the very day before, the two teams met in Clemson, upon where South Carolina embarrassed the Tigers 12-0.

It was the first shutout by the Gamecocks at Clemson since 1974.

"You want to forget about it, but at the same time you want to keep it in the back of your head," Clemson catcher Doug Hogan said. "Because you never want to play a ballgame like that."

The two teams will square off Wednesday at 7 p.m., for the first time since the 3-2 loss in Columbia, with sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Cisco (2-2, 5.44 ERA) getting the nod for South Carolina. As of late Tuesday afternoon, the No. 14 Tigers (25-10) had yet to determine a starter.

Tigers coach Jack Leggett is counting on different results this time around, thought he knows it's not going to be easy, especially with the way his team's offense has struggled to produce many runs this year.

"We've got to figure out a way to manage their lineup because they swing the bats so well," he said. "And we've got to get some runs and get some confidence going, get a lead so we're not playing from behind."

When the teams met earlier in the year, it came right on the heels of Clemson shortstop Stan Widmann going down with a season-ending neck injury. It caused havoc with the lineup and in the field.

Star second baseman Taylor Harbin was forced to short, causing Leggett to have to insert an unproven and untested rotation of players at second. To date, those players have produced little or no offense.

"We were still a team in transition at that point," Leggett said. "It was a blow to this team. We're a little more comfortable now because we've had (time) to adjust to it."

Harbin said the loss of Widmann was difficult to swallow, but that the season is a work in progress and he feels the team is getting better with each passing week.

"We're trying our best to get over it and get past it and play with what we have," he said. "I still think by losing him, we're all kind of still hurt by it. It was a big loss for us. He was swinging the bat well and was a big part of our lineup and a big part of our defense. But I think right now we're getting to that point where we're adjusting and finally realizing what we have to do to help in his absence and just kind of play with what we have."

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