Earlier this week, Clemson and South Carolina announced their basketball game schedule for Saturday was postponed due to COVID-19 cases within the Gamecocks’ program. The game has not been rescheduled as of Wednesday.
This past August, the SEC canceled the Clemson-South Carolina football game when it decided its 14-members were going to only play conference games. That ended the nation’s second longest continuous rivalry at 111 years.
Now the question is, will the SEC cancel the Clemson-Carolina baseball series, which is one of the nation’s best?
“We anticipate the rivalry with South Carolina to continue this year. But again, a lot of that is going to be out of our control,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee told The Clemson Insider on Wednesday. “We don’t know what the SEC is going to vote on in terms of their schedule for baseball.”
The Tigers have met the Gamecocks every year on the baseball diamond since 1985. The series first began in 1899, but there several stretches throughout the years when they did not play. The two rivals did not meet from 1903-’06, 1910-’15, 1923, 1943-’44 and 1984.
Lee is hopeful 2021 is not added to that infamous list.
“We have not heard anything about what they are going to do, and we certainly hope that (the ACC) keeps our schedule like it is because we want to play the Gamecocks,” Lee said.
No dates for the three-game series in 2021 have been announced at this time. However, the series is scheduled to have Game 1 in Columbia, Game 2 in Greenville and Game 3 in Clemson.
Clemson owns a 181-141-2 lead in the all-time series, including five series wins over the last six years. Last year, the Tigers beat South Carolina 2 games to 1 in the weekend series, getting wins in Clemson and in Columbia.
The Tigers and Gamecocks have met several times in the postseason as well, including twice in Omaha in 2002 and 2010.
“It is one of the best rivalries in college baseball. They want to play it and we want to play it. So, we certainly hope nothing happens from a scheduling standpoint that does not allow us to play it,” Lee said. “But that is going to be beyond our control as coaches. I know, myself, we want to play the Gamecocks and I know Mark (Kingston) wants to play us.
“So, both the coaches want to do it, but again, a lot of that is out of our control. It is going to depend upon what the administrations and what the leagues decide. We do anticipate playing that series as we sit here right now.”