The South Carolina and Clemson baseball teams will begin their annual three-game series across three cities on Friday night at 6 p.m.
No. 23 Clemson will host the first game followed by a neutral-site ballgame at Fluor Field in Greenville on Saturday at 1 p.m. The series will wrap up with the Gamecocks hosting the Tigers at Founders Park on Sunday at noon.
Both the Gamecocks and Tigers are heading into the series with 7-1 records. The Gamecocks lost their season opener against Liberty, and the Tigers' loss came from South Alabama on Feb. 16.
Last year, the Tigers won the series by claiming victory in the second and third games, outscoring the Gamecocks 15 to 11 in total. Although South Carolina’s starter in the first game, Adam Hill, did not have a win to show for carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning, the Gamecocks earned the initial win in the ninth inning in front of a home crowd on a sacrifice fly by TJ Hopkins.
However, the Gamecocks’ success in last year’s series ended there as they dropped the second game in Greenville and the third game in Clemson.
This time around, South Carolina head coach Mark Kingston will turn to pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski for a road start in the opener against the Tigers' Brooks Crawford.
Freshman Brady Allen, who batted leadoff in the game against Appalachian State on Tuesday, said he looks forward to facing the Tigers for the first time.
“We come to practice everyday ready to practice," Allen said. "We are grinding in the weight room, on the field, in the cages. It’s the best rivalry in college and I’ve been hearing great things about it and we’re just gonna come out ready to play.”
Allen only introduced himself to collegiate baseball this season, and in the season opener he launched a three-run home run in his first at-bat with the Gamecocks.
Allen and a number of his teammates have provided run support for the Gamecock pitchers so far this season.
Last Sunday, the Gamecocks hit five home runs in their series finale against Utah Valley. Across eight games, four Gamecock batters hit above .300. Senior third baseman Jacob Olson, the team leader in batting, slugging, hits and home runs, will look to continue his season with his last Palmetto Series appearance.
The pitching matchups for game two in Greenville and game three in Columbia are set. In game two, South Carolina’s Dylan Harley will toe the rubber opposite Clemson’s Davis Sharpe. Game three will feature South Carolina’s Reid Morgan vs. Clemson’s Justin Wrobleski.