Clemson Next Faces Arizona St. At CWS
Clemson is headed to the College World Series for the 12th time after holding off Alabama with an 8-6 Super Regional clinching win Monday afternoon. The Tigers led 8-1 with the Tide batting in the bottom of theh 9th, but Alabama scored five two out runs and left the tying run at second base to end the game.
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Best two of three series (all times Eastern)
Highlight: Brad Miller (4-5) HR, 4 RBIs
* Clemson wins series (2-1)
* Highlight: Richie Schaffer (7-hole batter) 2 HR, 3 RBIs
Clemson: The Tigers are in a Super Regional for the second straight year and for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Clemson lost to Arizona State in last year’s Super Regional in Tempe, AZ. Head coach Jack Leggett has taken five Clemson teams to the College World Series, with the last trip to Omaha in 2006.
Two-sport star Kyle Parker has achieved an unprecedented distinction this season. He threw 20 touchdown passes while leading the football team to the Music City Bowl and he hit his 20th home run for the baseball team last weekend. That makes him the only player in DI history to hit 20 HR and throw 20 TDs in the same academic year. John Hinson (.341/15 HR/67 RBIs/22 SB) and Jeff Schaus (.313/15 HR/80 RBIs) wield big sticks in the Clemson line-up as well. Schaus’ 80 RBIs rank 15th nationally.
Clemson’s 4.82 ERA is the highest of any Super Regional team. Starters Casey Harman and Scott Weisman along with reliever Alex Frederick are all 7-2. Harman has the pitching staff’s only complete game, while Frederick is one of four relievers with at least two saves.
Alabama: This is just the third Super Regional appearance for the Crimson Tide, with the last one coming in 2006. Mitch Gaspard’s first season as Alabama head coach has been the definition of a roller coaster ride. Alabama won 16 of its first 17 games too open the season, but then proceeded to lose 14 of its next 20 games. However, the Tide is arguably the hottest team in the country right now with wins in 12 of its last 14 contests, including a 4-1 mark at the Atlanta Regional to oust #8 national seed Georgia Tech.
Nathan Kilcrease (8-2, 2.42 ERA) was the hero of the Regional. He picked-up two wins while throwing 206 pitches last week to earn Regional MVP honors. Jimmy Nelson (8-3, 3.92 ERA) is slated to start game one of the Super Regional.
Taylor Dugas (.393/66 Runs/19 SB) sets the table for the Tide at the top of the order. The Louisiana native wanted to go to LSU, but now he still has a shot at Omaha while the defending champs are back on the bayou. Josh Rutledge (.365/10 HR/69 RBIs) and Clay Jones (.329/17 HR/65 RBIs) provide steady offense as well.
Alabama’s 4.81 team ERA is the second highest of the 16 Super Regional teams, so look for a lot of offense this weekend in Clemson.
Clemson Super Regional