Don’t ask USC baseball coach Chad Holbrook about pulling off a sweep of Clemson in the conclusion to the three-game series Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. He doesn’t think in those terms.
He simply wants his players to focus on winning the next game, and if that results in a sweep, then so be it. He knows fans and media types like to get caught up in the bigger picture, especially when it involves this intense rivalry, but that’s not how he sees it.
Holbrook admits that he does like how confidently his team is playing at this point in the season. Baseball is a sport where no team can ever be perfect, but with nine wins in nine games this season, the Gamecocks approached a little piece of perfection with their 76 runs on a .317 batting average and 14 runs allowed on a 1.44 ERA.
That confidence also has shown up in recent seasons against the Tigers by winning 12-of-15 against their rivals going back to the 2010 College World Series. The Gamecocks look like they expect to win – as shown by the way they rallied from a five-run deficit Friday night as well as the way they made their five-run lead stand up Saturday afternoon.
South Carolina has stayed loose, while the Tigers have appeared tight. Clemson has committed four errors in both games in this series, something that’s going to haunt a team every time.
That could mean even more pressure for the Tigers on Sunday as they look to salvage one win out of this series. Holbrook’s Gamecocks, meanwhile, simply have to stay relaxed and confident as they try to win the next game in front of them.