Titans End Tigers' World Series Run


by - Correspondent -
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Brad Chalk had two hits for the Tigers. (Photo by Mark Crammer)

OMAHA, Neb. --- On “Elimination Tuesday” at the College World Series, the Clemson Tigers watched a three-run lead evaporate in the Omaha heat, and its season dissipate in a 7-6 loss to Cal State Fullerton.


The man responsible for ending the Tigers’ season – Fullerton designated hitter David Cooper. The freshman single-handedly brought the Titans from the brink of elimination by first sending a two-run shot over the right field wall in the seventh inning, and then by providing a two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth for the game-winning run.

“We work really hard in the fall through January. We didn’t want it to end here,” Cooper said. “These seniors are like my older brothers. They have taught me a lot. It’s good for them to live another day.”

Clemson (53-16) had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth after Taylor Harbin doubled off the wall in centerfield. But Fullerton coach George Horton brought lefty Ryan Paul in to get Andy D’Alessio to strikeout. Then in a surprise move, Horton brought in his ace Wes Roemer, who pitched 7.2 innings last Friday in a loss to North Carolina. Roemer got Stan Widmann to fly out to left field for the second out, and then pinch-hitter Ben Hall to strikeout to end the Tigers’ season.

“This is a tough loss,” Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. “Both of these last two were. We dug ourselves a hole early and like we have all year we battled back. But when you get to this part of the season, you can’t keep putting yourself in this position because eventually you will run out of time.”

Leggett said his move to pinch hit Hall for right fielder D.J. Mitchell was the best option for his team at the time. Some wondered if Leggett might use Travis Storrer in that situation, but Leggett said the senior was still banged up, and because Storrer had not seen a live ball in nearly a month, he did not want to put him in that situation.

“I had that Kirk Gibson thing in my mind,” Leggett said. “I wanted it for Travis, but it was a tough position to put him in. He had not seen a live pitch in a month. To put him in there in the last at-bat, in Omaha that would not have been the right thing for Travis.

“Ben Hall has been in the flow, has got us some big hits and had been our guy in that situation all season long.”

Fullerton lit up Clemson starter Jason Berken in the first inning with two doubles and two hard hit singles. Even the game’s first out was well hit, but third baseman Marquez Smith made a great stab on a liner to third from Blake Davis to record the out.

“Early, I fell behind,” Berken said. “I gave up some hits. I couldn’t really get it going.”

Fullerton’s Brett Pill put the game’s first run on the board when he hit the gap in left field to score Justin Turner, who led off the game with base hit. Danny Dorn followed with another double, this time down the first base line to plate Pill for a 2-0 lead.

The score went up to 3-0 when Cooper got the third straight hit of the inning with a single to right center to score Dorn, ending Berken’s day.

The Clemson junior, who has never won a postseason game, end the day with three earned runs off four hits with one recorded out.

“I wish I could have given our team a better chance to win,” he said.

Clemson answered the Titans (50-14) in the bottom of the first with three singles and a double, including D’Alessio’s double down the line in left field, which bounced into the corner allowing Brad Chalk and Tyler Colvin to come home tying the game at 3-3.

Colvin single’s two batters before D’Alessio scored leadoff man Herman Demmink for the Tigers first run of the afternoon. Demmink reached with a hit up the middle, giving Clemson its first leadoff man to reach base since the Georgia Tech game and just its third of the College World Series.

“We finally hit the ball well today and we had a couple of big hits, but so did (Fullerton),” Leggett said. “They are a good team and they had one bigger hit than we did.”

The Tigers took their first lead in the second inning after Demmink brought D.J. Mitchell home with a single to right field which got past a diving Pill at first base for a 4-3 lead.
Relief pitcher P.J. Zocchi held Fullerton at bay for much of the afternoon as he went six innings, allowing just seven hits with five strikeouts.

After allowing Fullerton to get its leadoff man on in the second, third and fourth innings and nothing to show for it, Zocchi’s luck ran out in the seventh inning when Cooper sent a one-out pitch into the right field seats for a two-run shot, which at the time brought the Titans with one run at 6-5.

“I missed completely down the middle,” Zocchi said. “That was the turning point for us.”

Fullerton tied the game at six moments later, when Tripp, who got on after being hit by a pitch, stole second and scored when Evan McArthur singled to left field.

“As you know by now, our guys don’t quit,” Horton said. “We found a way to be on top.”

It appeared for much of the night as if Clemson might be on top, especially after it upped its lead to 6-3 in the fourth inning which was sparked by an Adrian Casanova double. On the very next pitch, Demmink brought him home with his third straight first-pitch hit.
Demmink later scored after Marquez Smith found the gap in left field for the Tigers final run of the afternoon.

Fullerton plated the game –winner with two outs in the top of the eighth as Cooper just caught a Daniel Moskos pitch at his knees and lifted it into center field. Widmann tried to make a diving catch, but the ball just got by his glove to score Davis for a 7-6 lead.


Cooper finished the game 5 for 5 with 4 RBIs and a home run.


Notes


- This was Clemson starter Jason Berken’s third straight start of less than two innings.

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Berken was the first Men’s College World Series starter to fail to make it out of the first inning since LSU’s Bo Pettit allowed five hits and six earned runs in 0.2 IP against South Carolina, June 15, 2003.

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There have now been 19 runs scored in the first inning of the nine games of the Men’s College World Series with 12 of those 19 scored in the top of the first inning. There have only been three games in which no runs were scored in the first inning.

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The 12 hits allowed by Lauren Gagnier are the most he’s allowed this season and the six runs match a season-high.

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Tuesday's game was the longest relief outing for Clemson’s P.J. Zocchi

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David Cooper’s (Cal St. Fullerton) seventh-inning home run was just the second of his collegiate career and his first since March 12 (vs. East Carolina).

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Cooper’s eighth-inning single made him just 15th player in Men’s College World Series history to record five hits in a game. He is the first since Tennessee’s Kris Bennett had six hits against Georgia (June 11, 2001). It’s also Cooper’s first five-hit game of the season and the four RBIs matched his season and career highs.

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Cal St. Fullerton’s Danny Dorn recorded his sixth game of the season with three or more hits.

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In both of its two wins in the 2006 Men’s College World Series, Cal St. Fullerton has trailed by three runs or more.

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Cal St. Fullerton’s Wes Roemer picked up his first save, second of his career, in his first relief appearance of the season.

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Clemson’s loss now makes its seven straight years that No. 1 seed will fail to win the national championship. The last year that the top seed claimed the championship was in 1999 by Miami (Fla.).

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Tuesday's game time of four hours and five minutes, makes it the third longest game by time (nine innings) in MCWS history.


Cal State Fullerton 7 (50-14)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Justin Turner 2b.........  5  1  1  0   0  0  2  1   0
Blake Davis ss...........  5  1  1  0   0  0  1  1   1
Brett Pill 1b............  4  1  2  1   1  2  6  2   0
Danny Dorn lf............  5  2  3  1   0  1  4  0   2
David Cooper dh..........  5  1  5  4   0  0  0  0   0
Brandon Tripp rf/cf......  3  1  0  0   0  2  1  0   2
Clark Hardman cf.........  2  0  0  0   1  0  5  0   0
 Jared Clark ph/rf.......  2  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Evan McArthur 3b.........  5  0  2  1   0  1  3  2   5
John Curtis c............  4  0  1  0   0  1  3  1   1
Lauren Gagnier p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Adam Jorgenson p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
 Ryan Paul p.............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Wes Roemer p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 40  7 15  7   2  8 27  8  11

Clemson 6 (53-16)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Herman Demmink dh........  5  2  3  2   0  0  0  0   3
Brad Chalk cf............  5  1  2  0   0  0  1  0   0
Marquez Smith 3b.........  5  0  1  1   0  0  2  2   1
Tyler Colvin lf..........  4  1  1  1   1  0  1  0   1
Taylor Harbin 2b.........  5  0  1  0   0  0  3  2   2
Andy D'Alessio 1b........  4  0  1  2   1  2  9  0   0
Stan Widmann ss..........  5  0  2  0   0  0  0  3   2
D.J. Mitchell rf.........  3  1  1  0   0  0  2  0   0
 Ben Hall ph.............  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   1
Adrian Casanova c........  3  1  1  0   1  1  8  1   1
Jason Berken p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 P.J. Zocchi p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Ryan Hinson p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 David Kopp p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
 Daniel Moskos p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 40  6 13  6   3  4 27  9  11

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Cal State Fullerton. 300 000 310 -  7 15  1
Clemson............. 310 200 000 -  6 13  0
-------------------------------------------

E - HARDMAN(3). LOB - Fullerton 11; Clemson 11. 2B - PILL(21); 
DORN(13); M. SMITH(20); HARBIN(20); D'ALESSIO(15); WIDMANN(12); 
CASANOVA(10). HR - COOPER(2). HBP - TRIPP 2; MITCHELL. 
SH - CURTIS(4). SB - TRIPP(10); DEMMINK(13); D'ALESSIO(7); 
WIDMANN(15); MITCHELL(8). CS - COOPER(1).

Cal State Fullerton    IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Lauren Gagnier......  6.2 12  6  6  2  2 32 35
Adam Jorgenson......  1.1  1  0  0  1  0  5  6
Ryan Paul...........  0.1  0  0  0  0  1  1  1
Wes Roemer..........  0.2  0  0  0  0  1  2  2

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Jason Berken........  0.1  4  3  3  0  0  5  6
P.J. Zocchi.........  6.0  7  2  2  2  5 23 26
Ryan Hinson.........  0.1  0  1  1  0  0  1  2
David Kopp..........  1.0  2  1  1  0  1  5  5
Daniel Moskos.......  1.1  2  0  0  0  2  6  6

Win - JORGENSON (2-0).  Loss - KOPP (6-2).  Save - ROEMER (1).
WP - JORGENSON(4); ZOCCHI(10); MOSKOS(4). 
HBP - by BERKEN (TRIPP); by HINSON
(TRIPP); by GAGNIER (MITCHELL). BK - GAGNIER(6).
Umpires - HP: Darrel Mason  1B: John Kleis  2B: Paul Guillie  
3B: Joe Burleson
Start: 4:09   Time: 4:05   Attendance: 26241
JORGENSON faced 1 batter in the 9th.

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