Passion. Energy. Emotion. Intensity. History. Tradition. These are just a few adjectives to describe the best rivalry in all of college baseball.
We know it simply as Carolina-Clemsux. Today, I look back at my favorite memories from this long, storied rivalry on the diamond.
Honorable Mention: Reid Morgan Takes Exception
I literally just LOL’d going back and watching this video. The stare down itself is savage enough.
But I genuinely forgot just how LONG the stare was. I mean he burned a hole in that guy’s soul after taking his precious time getting back in the box.
Morgan’s performance came in the rubber match in 2019 and helped Carolina secure the series over the Tigers, making it even sweeter.
5. Harley Lail Calls The Sweep
Outside of the few losers who tried to destroy my business this time last year, most of us know that chirping, especially position players, is a huge part of the game of baseball.
Anyone who has been to Doug Kingsmore Stadium knows that Clemsux fans can do their fair share of heckling, so it’s not surprised Mr. Lail had a little message for the Cajun Cafe after USC took all four games against the Tigers in 2008.
The simple “4” by Lail while jogging in was the perfect jab and put an exclamation point on the series sweep.
4. “Eys Eys Baby” Takes The Series From Clemson
Moments against your arch rival can make a career. Think across the various sports and we can all think of a few players who cemented their legacies against the Tigers.
That’s certainly the case for current Carolina outfielder Andrew Eyster, who beat the Tigers twice a season ago due to a pair of walkoff knocks.
One walkoff to take down your rival is something you dream of. Back to back nights to clinch the series? Almost beyond comprehension.
3. Dantzler Walks Off The Tigers
As much fun as it is watching the boys take the regular season series, it’s even sweeter when you think back to the postseason success Carolina has had over its arch-rival.
That was the case yet again in 2012, in a game that Michael Roth most recently described as his most fun against the Tigers, excluding his 2010 performance in Omaha.
Dantzler’s knock would secure the win, marking their 18th straight postseason win. The Gamecocks would go on to eliminate CU from the Columbia regional the following day.
2. Cocks Establish Dominance In Omaha
Omaha. Every college baseball players dream. And a place that has been a house of horrors for Clemsux baseball against the University of South Carolina.
The domination started in 2002, when guys like Trey Dyson, Steve Bondurant, Matt Campbell, Landon Powell and more led Carolina to back to back dominating wins in the 2002 CWS to send the Tigers packing.
For the two teams to meet in Omaha was rare in of itself and most thought it would never happen again.
1. Roth’s Gem Begins A Magical Run
Man, the Gamecocks really DO own Clemsux baseball, huh? The Tigers returned to the CWS in 2010 and got off to a hot start.
Meanwhile, South Carolina had to fight their way out of the loser’s bracket after dropping the opening game of the tournament to the Oklahoma Sooners.
Clemsux faced the one team they absolutely DID NOT want to see in Omaha, which was noted by then Gamecocks ace, Blake Cooper:
Even with past successes in the postseason against the Tigers, the odds seemed slimmed. Carolina was limited on arms and would have to hand the ball to lefty specialist Michael Roth in a “win or go home” game one.
All Roth did was turn in arguably the greatest pitching performance in Carolina baseball history, throwing a complete game while allowing just one run while securing the win.
The Gamecocks would go on to eliminate Clemsux from Omaha yet again on way to their first National Championship in school history.
Simply put, at Clemsux, Omaha is just something stitched on the hats. In Columbia, Omaha is THE standard. Period. The two programs do not compare.
One thought on “Ranking My Top Five Moments In The South Carolina-Clemsux Baseball Rivalry”
Pingback: Gamecocks BB: Wes Clarke may be the best hitter in the NCAA