More than bragging rights on the line

OMAHA, Neb. – Clemson is dangerously close to repeating history after Friday night's 5-1 loss to South Carolina in the College World Series.

It was less than a decade ago when the Tigers dropped two-straight to the rival Gamecocks after opening with back-to-back wins at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Clemson second baseman Mike Freeman insisted after Friday's loss that things are different.

"We weren't here in '02. I don't really exactly know the history. We had a really good team then, (assistant coach) Michael Johnson was a part of it," he said. "As far as that goes, it has nothing to do with this College World Series."

Just moments after the two-hour and 22-minute loss, Clemson coach Jack Leggett was ready to move past the loss and look ahead to Saturday.

"This ball game is over, as far as I'm concerned," Leggett said. "We just have to come back tomorrow and be ready to play."

Though he wouldn't name a starting pitcher, Leggett mentioned his ace as the potential starter.

"Casey Harman is an option for us, certainly. We'll go back and talk about it tonight," he said.

Harman is 8-3 on the season with a 3.77 ERA in 18 starts. During 114-2/3 innings, he's given up 108 hits, 55 runs (48 earned) and struck out 100 over 34 walks.

Against South Carolina on Mar. 5, Harman pitched five innings, allowed five hits and three runs while striking out five and walking three. He did not pick up the decision in the 4-3 Clemson win.

The Gamecocks evend the rivals' 2010 series at 2-2 Friday night, setting up the season's rubber match for Saturday at 7 p.m. (EST). More importantly, the two teams will play for the right to move on to the College World Series Finals.

"They beat us tonight, but we have a game tomorrow. We're going to come out ready to play," Freeman said. Top Stories