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      Regional baseball tournament expected to be a grand slam to economy

      Yesterday's Restaurant and Tavern in Columbia's Five Points was steady during the lunch hour on Monday.

      By week's end, thousands of fans wearing garnet and black, orange and white, even teal will pack restaurants, bars, and hotel for the college baseball regional featuring USC, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, and Manhattan.

      USC student and bartender Kimberly Elchlepp said she knows what to expect.

      "I have worked here for four years. I have seen the past couple of years how it happens. And every year, we keep doing better so it helps our foot traffic even more," said Elchlepp.

      Columbia resident David Krumlich is a Coastal Carolina alumnus. He thinks having three in-state schools here for the first time will heat up rivalries even more.

      "It is going to be a tough ticket to see any of the games. OF course at Coastal, we would rather be someplace else other than playing the back to back national champions," said Krumlich.

      Business owners like Yesterday's Co-Owner Duncan MacRae know this time of year is usually slow, but this weekend, they will be competing for dollars.

      "Any game that a Carolina team is playing in, we have $1 hot dogs and we also have some other specials on beer. School is closed, people are down at the beach or out of town," said MacRae

      All six games and a seventh if needed, will be at or near capacity, according to Columbia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ike McLeese.

      "With Coastal Carolina and Clemson both coming, it is very accessible to their fans. And because of the schedules, there will be a lot of people staying over the weekend. People are eating out and taking food to tailgate," said McLeese.

      If the Gamecocks win, they will be one of eight schools in the country to host a super regional tournament. The city hopes all of that will result in an economic grand slam.