By Ryan Clary
The South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers have made it to the NCAA baseball tournament. The Tigers are the #10 overall seed, coming up just short of a National Seed but will host a Regional beginning this Friday at 6:00pm. The Gamecocks will travel to East Carolina Regional as the 2 seed and will begin play against Ohio St. this Friday at 2:00pm.
I absolutely love Regional Weekend. Here are my thoughts on each Regional:
- The Clemson Tigers should have been a National seed. I had them above UNC and Texas Tech. But the Tigers were given a gift with a very soft Regional. Vanderbilt and St. Johns should both be 3 seeds and neither have the pitching to compete with the Tigers. Clemson has had 2 strong Two Seeds the past 2 years…this year is very different.
- Clemson should go 3-0 in the Regional and advance to potentially take on FSU. The Tigers should be thrilled with this matchup as they have owned FSU over the years.
- Clemson pitcher Jacob Hennessy needs to be healthy and ready to go….for Clemson to make it to Omaha. I honestly don’t even think they’ll need him this weekend to get out of the Regional.
- The Gamecocks were 20-17 following the loss to PC. They ended the year as a 2 seed in a Regional that doesn’t feature a National Seed. Gamecock fans should be thrilled.
- USC is in a Regional with 2 other very good teams. East Carolina is the best team here and should be the favorite, especially if TJ Hopkins doesn’t play as much. Ohio St. has a great closer and a few really good hitters. They struggle defensively but deserve to be an at large team and could give USC fits this Friday.
- If the Gamecocks were to make it out of the Regional, they would travel to Arkansas, who is red hot. However, the Gamecocks played 3 close games this season against the Razorbacks and would have some confidence heading into that Super Regional.
- Cody Morris has to throw one of the first two games for the Gamecocks and Adam Hill needs to throw the other. Either one starting Game 1 should be fine as long as the other goes in Game 2. Logan Chapman should start their 3rd game. If USC wants to win this Regional, they’ll need 3 good starts from these guys or they’ll need to hit like they did in Game 3 against Texas A&M.
- I am so thankful this is not another year where USC and Clemson are in the same Regional. They only way they would meet this postseason would be in the CWS final series. I enjoy each having their own run and if they meet up in the CWS, so be it.
Florida is the best team in this tournament by far, but I’ll take the Arkansas Razorbacks to win it all.