Did you really think it would be different this time? The 2010 Tigers have always done things the hard way, but they have raised their game when they needed to the most. Saturday night the Tigers will try to be the Cardiac Kids one more time as they battle rival South Carolina with the winner headed to the championship series.
In case you don’t remember let’s take a look back at the path the Tigers traveled. After a midseason slump the Tigers turned things around and were battling for the Atlantic Division title. With a final home series against Florida State awaiting the Tigers traveled to Wake Forest to set the table for clinching the Atlantic Division at home against Florida State. The Tigers had a chance with a sweep of the struggling Deacons to get to within one game of the Noles and simply need to win the weekend series to become the Atlantic Division champs. As TheClemsonInsider.com watched from Winston-Salem the Tigers lost two out of three to the Deacs.
No problem, all the Tigers needed to do now was sweep the top ten Noles in the final regular season series. The Tigers did just that and took home the Atlantic Division title and No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament.
Clemson headed to Auburn for the regional and took care of business the first two games to put themselves in the driver’s seat to advance to the Super Regionals. Once again, the Tigers did it the hard way. Auburn defeated Clemson that Sunday in a heartbreaker that would have wrapped up the regional and sent the Tigers to the Supers. Instead the Tigers had to come back Monday night and play against a very talented Auburn team in a hostile environment needing a win to advance. Once again, no problem for the 2010 Tigers. Clemson came out and dominated the critical game and advanced to the Super Regionals.
Things didn’t change when Clemson hosted Alabama for the Super Regional. After losing the opening game the Tigers had to win two in a row to earn a trip to Omaha. Once again the Tigers responded with the season on the line and won both games to advance to Omaha.
Did you really think things would be different in Omaha. After winning their first two games, the Tigers simply needed to win Friday night against the Gamecocks to advance to the championship series. The Tigers were more rested and looked to be in better shape with their pitching staff heading into the game, but South Carolina came out and took care of business to force another game Saturday night.
Will the Tigers once again extend a special season Saturday night with a victory over their rival? Will Kyle Parker, Wilson Boyd, Mike Freeman and others play their final game for the Tigers Saturday night? Will Jack Leggett once again come up just short of reaching his dream of playing in the championship series?
We’ll have to wait until later tonight to get those answers, but one thing we know is this team wouldn’t have it any other way. This team has a special chemistry and they will come out Saturday night and give it all they have to once again keep the season alive. Don’t count out this team as they may have it exactly where they want it.
Win or lose Saturday night it has been an incredible ride for this team. The 2010 Tigers have already exceeded the goals of almost all Clemson fans. Did you really think the Tigers would be playing on the final Saturday night with a chance to play for a national title? Most in Tiger Nation wouldn’t have predicted that at the beginning of the season, but the only people that matter continue to believe.