MOUNT PLEASANT -- While watching the Dodgers and Angels play a Freeway Series game at Dodger Stadium, you cannot actually see a freeway.
The only Subway Series subways visible from the stands at a Yankees-Mets clash are elevated trains that come up for air, not real subways in their underground habitat.
But the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which comes only a few miles shy of linking The Citadel and College of Charleston home baseball parks, was easily visible Friday night at Patriots Point Field as the teams opened a series that ought to be named in honor of the structure spanning the Cooper River.
The Bulldogs vs. the Cougars doesn't get much better: First place in the Southern Conference on the line in the regular season stretch drive.
"This year, in particular, it's special," College of Charleston head coach Monte Lee said Friday night. "We're 1-2 in the league. We've both have had really good years. We're both not only trying to win the Southern Conference championship but get an (NCAA tournament) at-large bid and get into the postseason, which is always the goal both here and at The Citadel."
Plus, this just might be the best intracity rivalry in college baseball.
'Great for the city'
Coming into Friday night's game, College of Charleston was No. 38 and The Citadel No. 40 on the respected boydsworld.com Ratings Percentage Index list.
All the other metro area rivalries currently have serious flaws when compared to ours.
No. 9 UCLA vs. No. 64 Southern California?
Great tradition. Jackie Robinson vs. Tom Seaver, Randy Johnson and Mark McGwire. But, dude, only a few family members and lost students in L.A. care. Last year, not one of the three games played at Southern Cal drew 900 fans with a low attendance of 405.
No. 12 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 46 UC Irvine? Nice little Orange County squabble. But different cities and, surprisingly, proud of it.
So forget for a moment Patriots Point Field is in Mount Pleasant. At least two schools and The Joe are in Charleston.
"This is great for the city of Charleston," said Citadel head coach Fred Jordan, "and hopefully the fans will come out for the whole series. This is great for Charleston and great for the Southern Conference. Our league is very tough and highly underrated from a national standpoint."
Which brings up No. 30 San Diego vs. San Diego State, No. 86 minus ace Stephen Strasburg. The teams are in different conferences (San Diego the West Coast, San Diego State the Mountain West).
View from Row J
There are a few other rivalry rivals, all with flaws.
No. 28 North Carolina vs. No. 69 N.C. State doesn't quite qualify geographically, though the barbecue is good.
Rice vs. Houston is often fun and both schools are in Conference USA. But while Rice is No. 23, Houston is a lowly No. 87.
No. 8 Miami vs. No. 34 Florida Atlantic. Uh, no.
No. 25 California vs. No. 36 Stanford? Great baseball, usually. But try getting from one campus to the other in less than an hour without getting stuck in traffic behind tech execs.
The bridge makes traveling from one Cooper River Bridge Series ballpark to the other so convenient.
There was a great view of that bridge Friday night from Row J in the bleachers above the Cougars' dugout.
All we need is the official series title.
"That would probably be good for the fans," Jordan said. "But we're just going to come over and play when it's here and then get ready to play when it's at our place. But it's a unique series in that you have two quality programs within 10 minutes of each other depending on traffic."
Reach Gene Sapakoff at email@example.com or (843) 937-5593.