The rivalry between the South Carolina and Clemson baseball is plenty good, but it's even better when it comes down to a rubber game in the best-of-three series.
The Tigers won the first one at home, and the Gamecocks bounced back with the neutral-site victory. They'll settle the issue Monday afternoon at Carolina Stadium, which will ratchet up the intensity another notch or two.
Clemson hasn't won the regular-season series since the 2010 season, but USC won the other two meetings that season at the College World Series. The Gamecocks have since won the last four regular-season series.
"It's a great opportunity playing at home in front of our fans and trying to win the series," USC coach Chad Holbrook said. "We want to win it in the worst way, but win, lose or draw, it's not going to make or break our season."
Holbrook, of course, remembers 2010, when Clemson won the rubber game 19-6 at Carolina Stadium before the Gamecocks would go on to win the national championship. The Gamecocks have won 14 of the last 18 meetings dating back to the 2010 CWS.
Clemson coach Jack Leggett hopes his team can claim the series with a bounce-back win of its own.
"We're playing well. We feel good about our team," he said. "Our job is to gather ourselves and be ready to play tomorrow."
The players know the electricity will be flowing with the series on the line.
"We know how important this is for both sides. Both teams are very competitive," Clemson's Tyler Krieger said. "It's a fun atmosphere to play in, and I can't wait to get there. I expect us to play well because we have the players to get this thing done."
Holbrook believes in his players as well.
"It's a great one-game series, and we get to play it at home," he said. "Our players should be comfortable and confident. I hope we'll play that way."