Gamecocks & Tigers Renew Rivalry this Weekend

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — College baseball’s premier rivalry is this weekend as South Carolina (6-3) meets Clemson (6-2) for three games in three different sites. The series opens on Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium with first pitch at 6:30 p.m. Game two of the series shifts to Greenville and the Reedy River Rivalry contest at Fluor Field with first pitch at 1 p.m. The series concludes on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Columbia at Founders Park.

Carolina has had success against Clemson in recent years winning 25 of the last 37 contests between the two schools dating back to the 2007 season. Friday’s game will be on ACC Network Extra with Sunday’s game live on SEC Network Plus.

All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM “The Game.” Derek Scott and Tommy Moody will have the call this weekend.

ROTATION

FRIDAY
South Carolina – Clarke Schmidt (Jr. RHP) 1-0, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP, 3 BB, 14 SO
Clemson – Charlie Barnes (Jr. LHP) 0-0, 1.46 ERA, 12.1 IP, 1 BB, 17 SO

SATURDAY
South Carolina – Wil Crowe (Jr. RHP) 2-0, 0.79 ERA, 11.1 IP, 2 BB, 16 SO
Clemson – Pat Krall (Sr. LHP) 2-0, 3.86 ERA, 11.2 IP, 4 BB, 10 SO

SUNDAY
South Carolina – Adam Hill (So. RHP) 0-2, 1.50 ERA, 12.0 IP, 4 BB, 13 SO
Clemson – Alex Eubanks (So. RHP) 1-1, 3.97 ERA, 11.1 IP, 1 BB, 13 SO

RANKINGS

South Carolina is ranked in all six major collegiate rankings. The Gamecocks are ranked No. 4 in the USA Today coaches poll, No. 5 in the nation by Baseball America, D1Baseball and Perfect Game No. 7 by the NCBWA and No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball.

Clemson enters ranked No. 12 in the USA Today coaches poll, No. 15 by Baseball America, No. 17 by the NCBWA, No. 20 by D1Baseball and No. 22 by Collegiate Baseball.

PRICE AWARD & BRADLEY AWARD

For the 17th consecutive year, the Tom Price Award and Bob Bradley Award will be presented to the MVP for South Carolina and Clemson respectively. The presentation will be made at the end of Sunday’s game.

Both Price and Bradley had a tremendous positive influence on the baseball programs at Clemson and South Carolina as the school’s sports information directors.

Price passed away on Feb. 1, 2008 at the age of 81 after 45 years of service to the Gamecock program. Bradley passed away on Oct. 30, 2000. He served as the Tigers’ baseball athletic communications director for 45 years and still served as Clemson’s official scorer for most of the 2000 season.

RECAP

Sophomore outfielder Jacob Olson homered twice and sophomore catcher Chris Cullen added a three-run homer as well as fourth ranked South Carolina defeated Appalachian State 8-4 on Tuesday evening at Founders Park.

Senior left-hander Josh Reagan earned his first victory of the season. He allowed one run on one hit with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings of relief work. Junior right-hander Tyler Johnson struck out five batters in two scoreless innings of relief to pick up his third save of the year.

TO ARMS

The South Carolina pitching staff continues to impress as it struck out 39 batters in 27.0 innings of the Wright State series and limited the Raiders offense to just a .219 average over the weekend.

For the season, the pitching staff has a 2.56 team ERA and has allowed 30 runs, 23 earned, on 56 hits in 81.0 innings with 96 strikeouts to 25 walks and a .190 opposing batting average. Carolina leads the SEC in strikeouts with the ERA and opposing batting average second in the conference.

South Carolina’s pitching staff was strong the entire opening weekend vs. UNCG as the Gamecock pitchers combined to allow just three runs, one earned, on 10 hits with 27 strikeouts in 27 innings of work. UNCG, who led the NCAA in hitting in 2016, hit just .115 with a .149 slugging percentage and a .179 on-base percentage. The three runs allowed over the weekend was the lowest total of an opening weekend since the Gamecocks allowed just two in the opening series of 2004 vs. Charleston Southern.

AT THE PLATE AND ON THE FIELD

The Gamecocks are hitting .280 (83-for-296) as a team for the year with a .355 on-base percentage and a .405 slugging mark. The Gamecocks are fielding .974 for the season.

South Carolina hit .270 (27-for-100) in the Wright State series with a .360 on base percentage. South Carolina has equaled or out-hit its opponent in all eight games this season.

SUPERLATIVES

South Carolina is 6-1 on the year when scoring first in a game and 5-0 when entering the seventh inning with a lead and 6-0 when entering the ninth inning with the lead. The Gamecocks are 3-0 when scoring six or more runs and 6-2 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 2-2 in games decided by three runs or less.

WELCOME BACK WIL

Junior right-hander Wil Crowe is now 2-0 on the year with a 0.79 ERA after allowing just one run on four hits in 6.1 innings with a walk and nine strikeouts in the 10-5 win over Wright State on Saturday afternoon. Crowe has 16 strikeouts to just two walks in 11.1 innings with opposing hitters .171 against him. He has allowed just one run on seven hits in his first two starts. Crowe is one of 18 SEC pitchers with two wins. He is seventh in the SEC in strikeouts and 12th in ERA.

Crowe struck out seven in five scoreless innings of work in his first appearance since April 10, 2015 in the Gamecocks’ 5-1 win over UNCG on February 18. Crowe allowed just three hits and one walk to earn the victory.

WILLIAMS IS A HIT

Junior first baseman Matt Williams has hit safely in seven consecutive games. Williams has played in all nine games with five starts and owns a .381 batting average (8-for-21) with a pair of runs scored and four RBI.

Williams had a key two-run single in the first inning of Friday’s 4-3 win over Wright State. Williams drove in four runs in the series.

START WITH CLARKE

Junior right-hander Clarke Schmidt had a no-decision after allowing three runs, all unearned, on four hits in 6.1 innings with a walk and 11 strikeouts in the 4-3 win over Wright State on Friday night. Schmidt’s 11 strikeouts tied a career-high he set last year vs. Arkansas on March 18, 2016. Schmidt is 1-0 on the year with a 0.69 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .146 against him. Schmidt is tied for sixth in the SEC in innings pitched, ninth in ERA and opposing batting average and tied for 10th in strikeouts.

Schmidt won on Opening Day vs. UNCG allowing just one run on three hits in 6.2 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

DYNAMIC DESTINO

Junior designated hitter/outfielder Alex Destino is South Carolina’s top run producer with a pair of home runs and a team-high 10 RBI on the year. Destino is batting .313 (10-for-32) for the season with six runs scored and two doubles as well. He has a .563 slugging percentage. He is tied for fifth in the SEC in home runs and tied for ninth in RBI.

JOHNSON BRINGS THE HEAT

Junior right-hander Tyler Johnson struck out five of six batters he faced for his third save of the year in the 8-4 win over Appalachian State on Tuesday. He earned two saves last week with 1.1 innings of work in the 5-4 win over Charlotte followed by a scoreless ninth inning in which he struck out the side in the 4-3 victory over Wright State on Friday night.

Johnson has 10 strikeouts in 4.1 innings in his three relief appearances this year. Johnson is tied for firt in the SEC in saves.

OLSON PROVIDES A SPARK

Sophomore utility player Jacob Olson put together the Gamecocks’ first multi-homer game of the season with a pair of solo homers in Tuesday’s 8-4 win over Appalachian State. Wright is hitting .333 (10-for-30) with a team-high three homers, six RBI and a team-best .700 slugging percentage.

Olson cleared the bases with a three-run double in the first inning of last Saturday’s 10-5 win over Wright State. Olson hit his first career homer in the 5-4 victory over Charlotte.

BOWERS BRINGS IT

South Carolina is 5-1 on the year when scoring first in a game and 4-0 when entering the seventh inning with a lead and 5-0 when entering the ninth inning with the lead. The Gamecocks are 2-0 when scoring six or more runs and 5-2 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 2-2 in games decided by three runs or less.

BLAIR ON BASE

Sophomore outfielder Danny Blair is South Carolina’s leading hitter after two weeks of action with a .357 batting average (10-for-28). He also leads the Gamecocks with a .419 on-base percentage. Blair has reached base safely in eight straight games.

Blair had his best series at the plate in a Gamecock uniform in his career as he went 6-for-11 (.545) to lead the Gamecocks at the plate in the UNCG series. Blair also scored a pair of runs, drove in two and stole two bags. He finished with a .545 on-base and slugging percentage as well.

HILL ON THE MOUND

Despite the loss in Sunday’s 5-1 defeat to Wright State, sophomore right-hander Adam Hill was effective allowing just three runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Although he is 0-2 on the year, he maintains a 1.50 ERA and has 13 strikeouts to four walks in 12.0 innings. Opponents are hitting only .100 against him, ranking him third in the SEC.

STOKES IS RISING

Junior infielder Madison Stokes reached base in seven of 14 plate appearances vs. Wright State and hit .364 (4-for-11) in the series. Stokes hit a solo homer in Friday’s 4-3 win, doubled twice in the series and scored three runs. Stokes currently owns a four-game hitting streak. Stokes tied a career-high in hits in last Thursday’s loss to Kansas State going 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored.

REAGAN FROM THE LEFT

Senior left-hander Josh Reagan has allowed just one run in five relief appearances this year. Reagan has nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings with opponents batting .130 against him.

JONAH WITH A JOLT

Junior infielder Jonah Bride was South Carolina’s top hitter in the Wright State series going 4-for-9 (.444) with a run scored and a pair of RBI.

GREAT SCOTT

Senior right-hander Reed Scott had a pair of appearances last week vs. Kansas State and Wright State. Scott owns a 2.25 ERA in 12.0 innings of work with nine strikeouts and opponents batting .227 against him.

Scott picked up his first save of the year going four innings in the 5-1 win. Scott allowed one run, unearned, on two hits in four innings with three strikeouts.

CATCHING UP WITH CULLEN

Sophomore catcher Chris Cullen hit a three-run homer, his first home run of the season in the 8-4 win over Appalachian State. Cullen has played in seven games with six starts behind the plate.

TJ LEADS IT OFF

Sophomore outfielder TJ Hopkins hit his first triple of the season in the 10-5 win over Wright State and 1-for-3 with two runs in the 4-3 victory over the Raiders.

Hopkins was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the 7-1 season opening victory over UNCG. Hopkins also drove in a pair of runs in the victory.

THERE’S Hunter Taylor

Junior catcher Hunter Taylor had a career-high three hits and scored a run in the 10-5 win over Wright State. Two of Taylor’s three hits were doubles.

THAT’S TOLBERT

Sophomore infielder LT Tolbert tied a career-high in hits in Tuesday’s 8-4 win over Appalachian State going 3-for-4 at the plate. Tolbert is hitting .318 (7-for-22) in seven games with six starts. He has three runs scored and three RBI.

ROW WITH IT

Junior infielder Justin Row has played in four games with three starts and is hitting .273 (3-for-11) with a double, two runs scored and three RBI.

SCOUTING CLEMSON

Clemson enters Friday night’s game with a 6-2 overall record under second-year head coach Monte Lee. The Tigers’ lone two losses came in its opening weekend series vs. Wright State.

Junior outfielder Chase Pinder currently leads the Tigers in batting average hitting at a .400 clip (12-for-30) with seven runs scored and eight RBI to go along with a .417 on-base percentage. Sophomore first baseman Seth Beer is the team’s leading power hitter with a pair of homers and six RBI. He owns 11 walks and a .513 on-base percentage. Junior outfielder Reed Rohlman comes in with a .375 batting average as well with a pair of RBI and five runs scored. Clemson is hitting .302 (83-for-275) as a team with a .411 on-base percentage and a .977 fielding percentage.

Junior left-hander Charlie Barnes will start on Friday for the Tigers. He enters 0-1 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts. Barnes has allowed two runs on 14 hits with a walk and 17 strikeouts in 12.1 innings. Senior left-hander Pat Krall gets the ball on Saturday. He is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 11.2 innings. He has 10 strikeouts to four walks. Sophomore right-hander Alex Eubanks rounds out the rotation on Sunday. He is 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 11.1 innings. Eubanks has 13 strikeouts to one walk with opponents hitting .209 against him. Sophomore right-hander Ryley Gilliam has been Clemson’s top arm out of the pen with 14 strikeouts in 7.2 innings and just two hits allowed in three relief appearances. He has one save.

SOUTH CAROLINA 2017 HONOR ROLL

Danny Blair
Rated No. 105 best outfielder in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 126 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball

Jonah Bride
Rated No. 50 best third baseman in the nation by D1Baseball

Carlos Cortes
Rated No. 1 freshman in the SEC by Baseball America
Rated No. 1 impact freshman in the SEC by D1Baseball
Rated No. 4 best freshman in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 13 best freshman in the nation by Perfect Game
Rated No. 14 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 14 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by Perfect Game
Rated No. 37 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 53 best outfielder in the nation by D1Baseball

Chris Cullen
Rated No. 7 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by Baseball America
Rated No. 11 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 18 best catcher in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 22 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 85 best overall sophomore in the nation by Perfect Game

Wil Crowe
Named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List
Preseason All-America 3rd Team (Baseball America)
Rated No. 6 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by Baseball America
Rated No. 7 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 9 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by Perfect Game
Rated No. 11 best starting pitcher in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 17 best overall junior in the nation by Perfect Game
Rated No. 36 best overall prospect in the nation for 2017 MLB Draft by MLB.com

Alex Destino
Preseason All-America 2nd Team (NCBWA)
Preseason All-SEC Team (Perfect Game)
Preseason All-SEC 2nd Team (SEC Coaches Poll)
Rated No. 16 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by Perfect Game
Rated No. 19 best outfielder in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 21 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 45 best overall junior in the nation by Perfect Game

Adam Hill
Rated No. 6 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by Baseball America
Rated No. 6 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 11 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 15 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by Perfect Game
Rated No. 49 best overall sophomore in the nation by Perfect Game
Rated No. 57 best starting pitcher in the nation by D1Baseball

TJ Hopkins
Rated No. 31 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 36 best outfielder in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 91 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball

Tyler Johnson
Named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List
Preseason All-America 1st Team (D1Baseball, NCBWA, Perfect Game)
Preseason All-SEC First Team (SEC Coaches Poll)
Preseason All-SEC Team (Perfect Game)
Rated No. 1 reliever in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 12 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by Perfect Game
Rated No. 13 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 14 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by Baseball America
Rated No. 30 best overall junior in the nation by Perfect Game

Cody Morris
Rated No. 16 impact freshman in the SEC by D1Baseball
Rated No. 23 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 32 best freshman in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 62 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 159 best starting pitcher in the nation by D1Baseball

Jacob Olson
Rated No. 34 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 101 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball

Josh Reagan
Named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List
Preseason All-America 3rd Team (Collegiate Baseball)
Rated No. 12 best reliever in the nation by D1Baseball

Clarke Schmidt
Named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List
Preseason All-America 1st Team (NCBWA)
Preseason All-America 2nd Team (Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball, Perfect Game)
Rated No. 8 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by Baseball America
Rated No. 9 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 10 best prospect in the SEC for 2017 MLB Draft by Perfect Game
Rated No. 11 best starting pitcher in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 22 best overall junior in the nation by Perfect Game
Rated No. 35 best overall prospect in the nation for 2017 MLB Draft by MLB.com
Recognized as having the “Best Control” of all pitchers in the SEC by Baseball America

Madison Stokes
Rated No. 21 best shortstop in the nation by D1Baseball

LT Tolbert
Rated No. 25 best second baseman in the nation by D1Baseball
Rated No. 35 best prospect in the SEC for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball
Rated No. 103 best prospect in the nation for 2018 MLB Draft by D1Baseball

Categories: Clemson, Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks