CLEMSON -- There is nothing like home for Clemson in super regional play.
If one instance is an accident, and two occurrences mark a trend, eight examples indicate something close to scientific law.
Since the NCAA baseball tournament added super regionals in 1999, Clemson has advanced to eight super regionals series. The Tigers are 3-0 at home in super regional play, and 0-5 on the road in the best-of-three series, which send the winner to the College World Series.
"It's almost like the NBA playoffs," Clemson starting pitcher
Casey Harman said. "It's tough to beat a team at home, especially when their crowd is on their side. It's going to be good for us to have a packed house."
Tickets for the Clemson Super Regional, which begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, are sold out. A limited number of standing-room only passes go on sale today.
Prior to leaving for the Auburn Regional, Clemson coach Jack Leggett said it is sometimes good for a team to go on the road to avoid distractions. Asked again about that statement, Leggett retracted, saying "that's what you have to say."
Clearly Leggett and the Tigers are happy to be home, understanding their history. In addition to Clemson's postseason performances at home, the Tigers are 27-8 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium this year and 10-11 on the road.
To determine super regional sites, the higher seed is typically awarded home-field advantage. But since Clemson and Alabama both entered the tournament as No. 2 seeds, the NCAA awards super regional sites in such scenarios via bid, with the school promising more dollars awarded home-field advantage.
Clemson guaranteed $33,000 more than Alabama, according to the Birmingham, Ala., News. Clemson projected its gross receipts at $142,500, Alabama at $103,150.
It is a rare financial victory for the ACC over its rival conference to the west -- and evens the financial scoreboard with the Crimson Tide, which raided the Tigers of pitching coach Kyle Bunn last fall, offering Bunn a $100,000 contract.
Still, Alabama is dangerous.
Alabama proved it can win a postseason series on the road last week in Atlanta, and Alabama is playing its best baseball of the season.
Alabama defeated Georgia Tech in back-to-back games on its home field to advance to play Clemson, and Alabama, 15-15 in conference play, also advanced to the SEC tournament title game.
Crimson Tide ace Jimmy Nelson was selected by the Brewers with the 64th overall pick, and is averaging nearly a strikeout per inning. He has two complete game wins in his last three outings.
The Tide offense is led by Taylor Douglas, owning team-bests with a .393 average and .530 on-base percentage. Josh Rutledge is batting.365 with 10 homers.
Alabama is a balanced team, finishing fifth in the SEC in runs (452) and ERA (4.79).
"It doesn't matter home or away," Rutledge told reporters. "This is the most confident team I have played on. Home or away, I think we can win."