GREENVILLE -- Fluor Field was set to host the second game in Clemson and South Carolina's baseball series. Now, after Saturday's game was postponed by heavy rains, Greenville will get the deciding game in the series.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. tonight from the home of the Class A Greenville Drive. The game will be televised on WMMP-TV.
Sophomore left-hander Adam Westmoreland (0-0, 3.60 ERA) will start for the Gamecocks against Clemson junior right-hander David Haselden (1-0, 1.64 ERA), even though Haselden threw an inning (22 pitches) in relief Sunday.
The rivalry between the No. 4 Gamecocks (8-1) and No. 10 Tigers (7-2) wasn't hurting before the weekend -- but it's only gained steam since Friday. Quite a bit, actually.
South Carolina took the Friday night opener, 6-3, getting seven innings from College World Series hero Michael Roth and two-run home runs from Brady Thomas, Christian Walker and Scott Wingo.
After Saturday's unexpected off day, things got wild Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. After Jackie Bradley Jr.'s first-inning home run to left field -- Bradley's opposite field, but with the prevailing wind -- Jack Leggett asked to see Bradley's bat.
Both USC head coach Ray Tanner and associate head coach Chad Holbrook say they never received specific word about what was being questioned, but some have suggested that the Gamecocks have been heating the new mandated composite bats.
Holbrook said that was true -- but USC was using readily available sunlight to do so.
"Maybe Clemson needs to be asked what the problem was," Holbrook said Monday on the team's flagship station, WNKT-FM (107.5 "The Game"). "All I know is it never has been a part of anything going on. You can't do anything to these bats. You try like crazy to keep them as warm as you can. You don't want them cold.
"We've got some players with some injury problems, with their thumbs, because they vibrate so bad. There's nothing in a rulebook. There's nothing, anything written down anywhere whatsoever that (says) keeping the bat in the sunlight makes the bat perform better."
Holbrook then pointed out the Gamecocks finished with five hits in Clemson's 10-5 come-from-behind victory.
"They outperformed us. You've got to tip your hat to them," Holbrook said. "I really don't know what the accusation was. I can assure you there's nothing -- never has been, never will be -- anything from a rules-breaking standpoint going on in our dugout."
Bradley Jr. took to Twitter late in the afternoon.
"I love our bats," he said, adding an emoticon smile. "Some people call it showing off, I call it swag. Maybe you should learn the difference."
Leggett declined to talk about the incident after the game.
Despite a handful of errors and few hits, South Carolina took a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning. Clemson then rallied for six runs against USC All-America closer Matt Price, who now has a 10.12 ERA after the blown save.
On Monday morning, Roth tweeted that Tigers center fielder Will Lamb called Price "soft" after Sunday's game. That comment turned out to be accurate, but it was about South Carolina starter Tyler Webb and not Price.
"It doesn't matter who it is about," Roth said later. "You call one of us out, you call all of us out."
Tanner later weighed in on Columbia radio.
"I don't think there's a place in the game for any of those kind of comments," Tanner said. "Sometimes young people say things they shouldn't say. In (his) case, if he said it, I would advise against it."
Going back to the College World Series, South Carolina had won 14 consecutive games until Sunday's loss to Clemson. The Gamecocks have won 13 of the past 19 in the series, but the Tigers did take the regular season series last year before USC got revenge in Omaha.
"Only positive stuff can come out of that win," Lamb said Sunday. "It was just a satisfactory win, and we needed to redeem ourselves after what happened in Omaha."
--Clemson pitcher Kevin Brady (2-0) will be sidelined two weeks with a strained forearm. The sophomore right-hander started Sunday's game against South Carolina, giving up three hits and one earned run while striking out four in four innings.
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