Baker's Single Ends Wild Night in Omaha: CU 11, Neb 10


by - Correspondent -
    |

OMAHA, Neb. - A long, exhausting night at Rosenblatt Stadium had a happy
ending for Clemson Friday night. But just barely.


Jeff Baker lined an 0-1 pitch from Jeff Blaesing into left-centerfield for a
single in the bottom of the ninth, scoring David Slevin from second base to
give the Tigers a wild 11-10 victory over Nebraska in the opening round of
the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.


The victory advances Clemson to Sunday's 4:30 p.m. (EDT) winner's bracket
game against Georgia Tech. Nebraska will play South Carolina at 12:30 p.m.
the same day in an elimination game.


Baker's heroics capped an evening which saw Clemson overcome a five-run
deficit and make a winner of Matt Henrie (13-4), Sunday's projected starter.
Phil Shirek (4-2), the fifth of Nebraska's record-tying seven pitchers,
suffered the defeat.


The pro-Nebraska crowd of 24,711 - the third-largest in College World Series
history and the most ever for the first day of play - got its money's worth,
and then some. In over 4:01 of play (third longest nine-inning game in CWS
history), the teams combined for 21 runs, 21 hits and 19 walks.


They also combined to set a new CWS record for total pitchers in a game with
13. The old record, 12, was set three times, most recently twice in 2001
(Tulane-Stanford and Miami-Tennessee.)


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Trailing 7-2, Clemson began the road back in the fifth inning. Michael
Johnson followed Jeff Baker's one-out walk with a fly ball to the warning
track in leftfield. Nebraska's Daniel Bruce appeared to have the ball
tracked, but then slipped and fell on the warning track as the ball dropped
untouched. Baker scored to make it 7-3, and Johnson ended up second with a
gift double.


Zane Green chased Nebraska starter Shane Kimone in the sixth inning with a
three-run home run to cut it to 7-6.


The Cornhuskers made it 8-6 in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Morris.


Khalil Greene's (3-for-5, 5 RBI, 34-game hitting streak) three-run homer in
the seventh capped a four-run rally and turned an 8-6 deficit into Clemson's
first lead of the night, 10-8. The lead was short-lived, however, as
Nebraska's Will Bolt tripled past a diving Kyle Frank in centerfield to score
two runs and tie the game at 10-10.


In the early going, Nebraska parlayed Reba's inability to throw strikes into
3-0 lead.


The Clemson senior walked three and hit two in 1 1/3 innings. He was pulled
after Bruce's RBI double made it 2-0 in the second. Reba was charged with a
third run when Joe Simonkaitis scored on a Morris groundout off reliever
Thomas Boozer.


The 1 1/3 innings was the shortest outing of Reba's season, one fewer batter
than he retired in his last start against Arkansas in the Super Regional.


The 'Huskers added a run on Brandon Eymann's RBI single in the third and,
after Greene's two-run double cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the
inning, plated three more in the fourth - two on Jed Morris' homer off Boozer
into the rightfield stands - to make it 7-2.


Clemson used six pitchers on the evening: Reba, Boozer, Patrick Hogan, Tyler
Lumsden, B.J. LaMura and Henrie.



Nebraska 10 (47-20)

Player              AB  R   H   RBI BB  SO  PO  A   LOB
Jeff Leise cf       6   1   1   0   0   1   0   0   3
Daniel Bruce lf     5   1   2   1   0   2   1   0   0
Jed Morris c        4   1   2   4   2   0   7   1   0
Jeff Blevins 3b     4   2   2   1   1   0   0   3   0
Justin Seely dh     3   1   1   1   1   0   0   0   2
Drew Anderson rf    3   1   0   0   2   1   0   0   1
Will Bolt 2b        5   0   1   2   0   1   2   4   3
Brandon Eymann 1b   3   2   1   1   2   0   13  0   1
Joe Simokaitis ss   2   1   1   0   1   0   2   4   0
Shane Komine p      0   0   0   0   0   0   0   1   0
 Aaron Marsden p    0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Steve Hale p       0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Waylon Byers p     0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Phil Shirek p      0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Jeremy Becker p    0   0   0   0   0   0   0   1   0
 Jeff Blaesing p    0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Totals......        35  10  11  10  9   5   25  14  12

Clemson 11 (53-15)

Player              AB  R   H   RBI BB  SO  PO  A   LOB
Zane Green dh       5   3   3   3   0   0   0   0   0
Khalil Greene ss    5   1   3   5   1   2   1   3   0
Jeff Baker 3b       4   1   1   1   2   2   2   2   0
Michael Johnson 1b  5   0   1   1   0   0   10  0   0
Roberto Valiente lf 4   0   1   0   1   0   2   0   3
Jarrod Schmidt rf   3   0   0   0   2   1   4   0   0
Kyle Frank cf       3   1   0   0   1   2   1   1   5
Steve Pyzik c       3   2   0   0   2   0   6   0   2
David Slevin 2b     2   3   1   1   3   1   1   4   0
Steve Reba p        0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Thomas Boozer p    0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Patrick Hogan p    0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Tyler Lumsden p    0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 B.J. LaMura p      0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Matt Henrie p      0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Totals......        34  11  10  11  12  8   27  10  12

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Nebraska............ 121 300 120 - 10 11  0
Clemson............. 002 013 401 - 11 10  1
-------------------------------------------

Note: 1 out, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - Lumsden(3). DP - Tigers 1. LOB - Huskers 12; 
Tigers 12. 2B - Bruce(17); Blevins 2(13); Seely(19); 
Green(7); Greene(31); Johnson(17). 3B - Bolt(3). HR - 
Morris(22); Green(5); Greene(27). HBP - Bruce; Seely; 
Simokaitis; Frank. SH - Simokaitis(9); Green(2). 
SF - Blevins(5). SB - Schmidt(7).

Nebraska        IP  H   R   ER  BB  SO  AB  BF  NP
Shane Komine    5.1 6   6   6   8   7   22  30  121
Aaron Marsden   1.1 1   3   3   1   1   5   7   22
Steve Hale      1.0 2   1   1   1   0   5   6   20
Waylon Byers    0.0 0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Phil Shirek     0.1 0   1   1   1   0   1   2   10
Jeremy Becker   0.1 0   0   0   1   0   0   2   5
Jeff Blaesing   0.0 1   0   0   0   0   1   1   2

Clemson         IP  H   R   ER  BB  SO  AB  BF  NP
Steve Reba      1.1 2   3   3   3   2   5   11  50
Thomas Boozer   1.2 3   3   3   2   0   7   10  39
Patrick Hogan   3.1 3   2   1   2   0   12  15  59
Tyler Lumsden   0.0 0   0   0   0   0   1   1   4
B.J. LaMura     1.2 3   2   2   2   2   7   9   43
Matt Henrie     1.0 0   0   0   0   1   3   3   15

Win - Henrie (13-4).  Loss - Shirek (4-2).  Save - None.
WP - Hogan(4). HBP - by Reba (Bruce); by Reba 
(Simokaitis); by Hogan (Seely); by Marsden (Frank).
Inherited runners/scored: Marsden 1/0; Hale 2/2; 
Shirek 2/0; Becker 1/0; Blaesing 2/1; Lumsden 2/0; 
LaMura 3/1. Pitches/strikes: Komine 121/62; Marsden 
22/13; Hale 20/11; Shirek 10/4; Becker 5/1; Blaesing 
2/2; Reba 50/22; Boozer 39/21; Hogan 59/30; Lumsden 
4/2; LaMura 43/23; Henrie 15/8. Umpires - HP: 
John Magnusson  1B: A.J. Lostaglio  2B: Jim Garman  
3B: Kevin Daugherty  Start: 6:10 pm   Time: 4:01   
Attendance: 24711
Game notes:
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees, Wind at 16 mph from the 
North, gusts to 25 mph Highest Session I 
attendance ever--3rd highest in CWS history (any session)
CWS record 13 combined pitchers used by both teams
Boozer faced 2 batters in the 4th.
Lumsden faced 1 batter in the 7th.
Shirek faced 1 batter in the 9th.
Blaesing faced 1 batter in the 9th.


BONUS COVERAGE


Baker's Ninth-Inning Heroics Lifts Clemson to 11-10 Win Over Nebraska

Walkoff hit the second for Baker this year


Omaha, NE - Jeff Baker's game-winning, walkoff hit in the bottom of the ninth gave Clemson a thrilling 11-10 victory over Nebraska Friday night in the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, NE. The walkoff hit was the second for Baker in 2002. He hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Winthrop earlier this season.


The game set a CWS record for pitcher used by both teams with 13 in a game that lasted four hours and one minute.Clemson advances to play Georgia Tech on Sunday at 4:30 PM. The game will be televised by espn2.


Clemson starter Steve Reba was erratic early, giving up a leadoff single and two walks to load the bases before taking the count to 3-2 against Jeff Blevins. Blevins flied out deep to right field, allowing one run to score. The Huskers loaded the bases again with two outs, but Reba struck out Will Bolt on a 3-2 count to escape the inning without any further damage.


Reba walked and hit the first two batters of the inning before giving up an RBI-double to Daniel Bruce that left runners at second and third with one out and knocked the pitcher out of the game. Thomas Boozer entered the game for the Tigers and induced a groundout, although one run scored to give Nebraska a 3-0 lead.


Brandon Eymann singled to right field in the third inning to plate Drew Anderson and extend the Cornhusker lead to 4-0. Clemson got on the board in the bottom of the frame. David Slevin's leadoff walk was followed by Zane Green's double down the right field line. Khalil Greene then brought the runners home with his 400th career hit, a double that tied him with Kurt Bultmann for the Clemson single season record. The RBIs gave him 273 for his career, tying him for the ACC record with former Florida State player Jeremy Morris. The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs later in the inning, but Kyle Frank struck out to end the threat.


Nebraska earned the two runs back immediately with Jed Morris' two-run homer. Reliever Patrick Hogan entered the game but surrendered two straight doubles, giving the Cornuskers a 7-2 lead with no outs in the fourth. Hogan got out of the inning and the Tigers cut the lead to 7-3 on Michael Johnson's RBI-double in the fifth. Clemson then made it a one-run game in the sixth inning when Green hit a three-run homer to right field. The home run was the the fifth of his career, with all five coming in this year's NCAA Tournament.


With one out and one on in the seventh inning, Joe Simokatis hit a short pop up that landed just short of a diving Hogan. Head Coach Jack Leggett went to the bullpen and freshman Tyler Lumsden. The lefthander induced a grounder back to the mound, but Lumsden glanced at third base before making an errant throw to the first. With the bases loaded, B.J. LaMura entered in relief. LaMura took the count to 3-2 before striking out Daniel Bruce. Morris then hit a two-strike single to center that scored one run, but centerfielder Kyle Frank rifled a throw to the plate that punched out Simokatis.


Clemson took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh. After an RBI-single by David Slevin brought the Tigers to within 8-7, the offense put runners on the corners with two outs for Khalil Greene. Nebraska brought in pitcher Steve Hale to face the national player of the year, but Greene sent the second pitch he saw over the fence in left for a three-run homer, a new ACC career RBI record and a 10-8 Tiger lead.


Nebraska tied it when Bolt hit a liner to center that Frank dove for but missed. The triple scored two runs to knot the game at 10, setting up Baker's ninth-inning heroics.


Khalil Greene went 3-5 with a home run and five RBIs to lead the Tigers, while Zane Green went 3-5 with a home run and three RBIs.

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