CLEMSON - After playing small ball for much of the NCAA Regionals, Clemson decided to say goodbye to Doug Kingsmore Stadium Sunday with a bang.
Kris Harvey homered twice and Andy D'Alessio also went deep, powering the Tigers to an 8-3 victory over Oral Roberts University in the Regional championship game. The game - which was delayed 45 minutes at the start due to lightning - was played before an announced crowd of 4,788.
The victory advances Clemson (42-21) to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time since 2002. Barring an upset in Waco, Texas today, Clemson will travel to the LoneStar State this Friday to meet Baylor in a best two-of-three series.
The winner of the Super Regional advances to the College World Series, June 17-26/27, in Omaha, Neb.
The Tigers held a scant 1-0 lead entering the fourth inning, at least until Harvey and D'Alessio were finished.
Golden Eagles starter Rene Recio (4-3) retired the first two batters of the inning, but gave up Harvey's 23rd home run of the season - a no-doubter deep into the night in left-center. Travis Storrer followed with an infield single, and then D'Alessio hit a 3-0 pitch the opposite way to left for his 15th of the season and a 4-0 Clemson lead.
Oral Roberts shortstop Michael Hollimon got one of the runs back in the fifth with a solo home run off Clemson starter Robert Rohrbaugh, but Harvey got it back the next inning with his 24th of the year - a ball that just eluded a leaping Kelly Minissale at the fence in right field.
That made it 5-1, and put to rest any hopes the Golden Eagles (41-20) had of mounting a comeback.
Rohrbaugh (8-2), for his part, was outstanding.
The junior lefty pitched seven strong innings, allowing just seven hits and the single run. He struck out nine and didn't walk a batter.
Senior Jeff Hahn pitched the eighth and retired the only three batters he faced.
David Kopp pitched the ninth, allowing four hits and two runs.
D'Alessio, voted the Regional Most Valuable Player, drove in another run with a double in the seventh inning. For the tournament the big first baseman was 7-for-9 with four doubles, four RBIs, four walks and was hit by a pitch once.
Tyler Colvin and Daniel Pritchard also drove in runs for the Tigers.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.