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Boston College Baseball Vs. Clemson: Five Good Minutes With Shakin' The Southland

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We sit down with Matt Goldin from STS to talk about the Tigers' baseball program as the Eagles head south to South Carolina to take on a traditional ACC power.

Tyler Smith/Getty Images

For more Clemson baseball coverage, be sure to head over to Shakin' The Southland's SB Nation site page and give them a look.

BC Interruption: Clemson fired Jack Leggett after last season despite winning 950 games in his career and qualifying for a seventh straight NCAA Tournament. What prompted the change?

Shakin' The Southland: Leggett took over as head coach in 1994 after being a long time assistant for legendary coach Bill Willhelm. Leggett first drew some frustration in 2002 when the Tigers needed to defeat in state rival South Carolina once in Omaha to advance to the CWS finals. South Carolina beat Clemson twice in a row to eliminate the Tigers.

Same situation happened in our last trip to Omaha, except this time the Gamecocks went on to win their first national title. Next year, Clemson hosted a regional and was set to meet South Carolina in Columbia in the Super Regionals, but back to back blowout losses to UConn ended that run. SC went on to win another title.

After that, Clemson slid into a streak of not hosting regionals. In 2012 and 2013, Clemson lost in the Columbia regionals. In '12, the Gamecocks delivered the 2 L's to Clemson, in 13 Clemson was eliminated before even getting a shot at SC. In '14, Clemson lost in the Nashville regional, and last year Clemson was eliminated by Pepperdine in the Fullerton regional. Clemson has an extremely high standard for baseball, and that standard got higher once SC picked up 2 titles.

That, plus Leggett's lack of success against SC finally did him in at Clemson.

BCI: Clemson replaced Jack Leggett with Monte Lee from the College of Charleston. What was the consensus when Lee was hired and what's been the early return on him through the season's first month or so?

STS: There was a mixed consensus. Many were happy to see new blood, but some hated the way Jack was cast aside. There was also some who had issue with him having been an assistant at South Carolina, questioning how committed he'd be to Clemson.

A lot of the skepticism continued after the opening loss to Maine, but after that the team has looked extremely well. People are loving that the players are playing more loosely. Tight play was always a criticism of Jack Leggett.

Plus Monte taking 2 of 3 from the Gamecocks won him the approval of many fans.

BCI: Last week, the Tigers really teed off on Wake Forest after the Deacs won the opener, taking two of three. What was the storyline of that series after Clemson lost the first game?

STS: Losing on Friday and winning the series has become a trend for Clemson this year. It happened in the Maine, South Carolina, and Wake series, (even though) Clemson swept the series with James Madison.

It's unusual how poorly the team has done on Fridays yet has been undefeated on every other day of the week it has played. It'll be interesting to see how this trend continues against BC.

BCI: Who are some of the players to watch both on the hill and at the dish for Clemson?

STS: On the hill, you've got to watch out for Saturday starter Clate Schmidt and Sunday starter Alex Eubanks. Schmidt faced a tough offseason, being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He has recovered from it an been very effective, throwing 5+ hit less innings in the first win against South Carolina in Greenville.

Eubanks was a relief pitcher, but got the nod in the Sunday rubber match game with the Gamecocks in Clemson. He led Clemson to a 4-1 victory tossing 7 and 2/3 innings.

On the offensive side, the Tiger fans are loving them some Beer. Seth Beer, that is. The freshman right fielder has been a stud for Clemson so far. In the series against Wake alone he had 4 HR's. Catcher Chris Okey has also been a big source of offense for Clemson.

BCI: How do you see this series shaking down?

STS: Clemson will win the series because of its ability to score and the talented pitching. Despite the high scoring series with Wake, Clemson has been very solid on the pitching side of the game all year. Clemson's offense is also much more improved from the past season, and is utilizing the long ball very well.

It wouldn't shock me to see BC take game 1, but I expect Clemson to win on Saturday and Sunday.

Be sure to follow STS on Twitter by going to their main site page here, and make sure to follow Matt at his personal account here.