Clemson Regional Notebook

MYRTLE BEACH – Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore said his team is the big underdog in Saturday's showdown in the winner's bracket championship against Clemson, even though his team his the No. 1 seed and higher ranked.

The two teams will do battle Saturday at 4 p.m., with the winner grabbing the upper hand to advance to next week's Super Regional, after Coastal's 7-1 victory over Virginia Commonwealth Friday evening.

"It's a big moment in the history of our program and the history of our school," Gilmore said. "Our kids know the importance of this game. It's the key and most pivotal game of the tournament.

"This will be David and Goliath matchup here."

The Chanticleers (49-11) will start right-hander John Mariotti (8-0, 4.03 ERA), while Clemson (39-21) will start right-hander David Kopp (6-2, 3.48 ERA).

"I think he gives us a better chance to win right now," Gilmore said. "We think he's as good a matchup as we can have against all those lefties."

A coin-toss was held immediately after Coastal's win and the Tigers won, which means they will be the home team for Saturday's game.

Ran, Rain, go away: With the prediction of some of the outer bands of Tropical Storm Barry reaching the shore tomorrow, there's a very real chance that the game will be pushed back until very, very late or until Sunday morning.

The game is televised on ESPNU and network officials said they are prepared to wait deep into the night to try and get the game in before the following day.

As of now, weather forecasters are predicting that between one and three inches of rain will fall between 2 and 4 p.m. There's also a forecast that says there is a 100 percent chance of rain by 8 p.m., Saturday.

Home away from home: There 3,527 fans that showed up for Clemson's game against St. John's and all but about a hundred of them were rooting for the Tigers.

"I didn't see too much color in the stands other than orange," Clemson centerfielder Brad Chalk said. "It really was like a home game for us. The crowd was great."

Saturday's game against Coastal should be interesting because the Chanticleers played in front of their largest home crowd in the history of the program when 3,138 showed for their game against VCU.

A few Red Storm-Clemson connections: Even though the school's couldn't be more opposite, one Southern and in a rural setting, with the other located in the middle of the largest city in the country, there are a couple of ties between Clemson and St. John's.

St. John's first baseman Ryan Mahoney was a member of the South Carolina Gamecocks for three seasons before transferring in 2006 to St. John's. His brother, Collin, was a pitcher for the Tigers between the years 2002 and 2004.

Just for the record, Ryan Mahoney is now 4-5 against Clemson in his career. He also said his older brother was hoping his former team would lose.

"He was rooting for us," Mahoney said of his older brother. "Even though we went against his alma mater, he told me he wanted us to win."

Another connection between the two schools is St. John's assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Mike Hampton played two seasons for the Tigers in 1993 and 1994.

During his senior season at Clemson, Hampton was an All-American and All-ACC third baseman before being drafted in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Reds.

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