Clemson beats Auburn, advances to host NCAA Super Regional


by - Senior Writer -
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Jack Leggett and Kyle Parker audio, Windows Media, (14:07) |
John Hinson audio, Windows Media, (2:41) |
Mike Freeman audio, Windows Media, (2:05)

AUBURN, AL – The Clemson Tigers got timely hitting and timely defense on Monday night, and their reward is being able to host an NCAA Super Regional this coming weekend.

The Tigers scored in six of the nine innings, answering an Auburn outburst at every turn, and turned two key double plays in both the seventh and eighth innings, and won the NCAA Regional’s seventh and deciding game by a 13-7 count over host Auburn Monday night at Plainsman Park, and now count themselves in the Sweet Sixteen of baseball.

Alabama, which knocked off host Georgia Tech in the Georgia Tech regional, will play at Clemson this weekend in the Super Regional in a best-of-three series with a trip to Omaha on the line.

“I am very proud of our team,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “We battled like heck and did what we had to do. Coming off a tough loss last night, but we talked on the bus and flushed it out. We had a great attitude coming in.”

Clemson started off with a bang in the top of the first, following singles by Mike Freeman and Jeff Schaus, when Kyle Parker launched a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right-center for a 3-0 Clemson lead. With the home run, Parker has now become the first D-I athlete ever to go 20-20 - 20 home runs and 20 touchdown passes in the same academic year.

Richie Schaffer walked to lead off the second inning, and Wilson Boyd lashed a double off of the wall in center to score Shaffer, and the night was done for Auburn starter Jon Luke Jacobs. Sean Ray entered the game to pitch, and Spencer Kieboom greeted him with a single into the hole at short. Will Lamb then sacrificed both runners up a base, and Schaus drove both runners home with a sharp single to center and Clemson held the early 6-0 lead.

Auburn tallied three runs in the second inning, but further disaster was averted when reliever Dominic Leone got SEC Player of the Year to pop out with the bases loaded to end the inning, and Clemson got one of the runs back in the top of the third on a John Hinson solo homer to right center, his second of the regional and 15th of the season.

Auburn added two more in the bottom of the inning to trim the Clemson advantage to 7-5, but a Jeff Schaus double and Brad Miller single added a run in the top of the fifth and Clemson was back up by three at 8-5.

A solo home run by Auburn had narrowed Clemson’s lead to 8-6, but a walk to Parker, a bunt single by Miller brought Hinson up, and he was plunked in the helmet by the Auburn reliever, loading the bases for Shaffer. Shaffer lined a double down the left field line, clearing the bases and putting Clemson back up by five at 11-6.

Another home run brought Auburn to within 11-7, but the Tigers escaped further damage in the 7th and 8th innings when Auburn lined into double plays with runners on base to end each of the innings. In the 7th, Auburn had runners at first and third with one out when Auburn’s Trent Mummey lined sharply to first, where Shaffer fielded the ball on one hop, stepped on first to retire Mummey and threw immediately to home plate where Kieboom tagged Creede Simpson coming home.

In the 8th, Auburn’s Dan Gamache had doubled, but Hunter Morris’ line drive was speared by Shaffer, who threw to second to double off Gamache and end the inning.

Auburn loaded the bases in the ninth, with one out, but Brady struck out Tony Caldwell for the second out and Mummey grounded out to Shaffer to end the game.

The two double plays proved critical and allowed Clemson to further pad the lead on a two-run double by Boyd in the top of the ninth, effectively sending Clemson to Super Regionals.

Alex Frederick came into the game in the fourth inning and pitched three innings, giving up only two solo home runs, and picked up the win to improve to 7-2 on the season. Kevin Brady pitched the last three innings to pick up the save, giving up no runs and striking out three.

“We had to throw a couple of freshmen out there to start the game and they battled,” Leggett said. “Then Alex came in and cooled things down a bit, and Kevin Brady was just outstanding. Then we got some big hits, and Kyle hit that home run early. We had some huge hits with men on base. Richie Shaffer had couple of huge hits, and we came up with some big RBI.”

Parker, who found out during the game that he had been selected by the Colorado Rockies in the major league draft, said his teammates had been messing with him all day about where he would be drafted, telling him at different times that they had heard for sure he had been picked third, and he said when he finally got the right information, he felt happy but was more concerned about the team.

“Honestly, I just feel blessed,” Parker said. “I wanted to just come out here and play hard tonight. I was nervous, and when I finally heard the news I was relieved and excited at the same time. I just don’t want to take anything away from the team. Hopefully, we can keep playing well.”


Notes

- John Hinson was named Regional MVP after posting a .563 average (9-for-16) with three homers, five RBI and five runs scored.


“Just knowing the situation and where we were,” Hinson said after Clemson’s 13-7, regional-clinching win. “Never having been able to experience playing in a regional, and coming off of a back injury, I was not able to experience last year with the team. I was excited the whole weekend and just went out and had fun.”


Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said he was proud of Hinson’s effort.


“He had a great series for us, and had some big home runs,” Leggett said. “He had a big night again for us tonight. He hit that solo home run and that was big, and then he had a big double later on. He played great defense, too. I am just proud of how he has come along and progressed and turned into such a good player for us. He has worked extremely hard, and to have him step up in a series like this is awesome.”


Auburn All-Regional Team

Catcher ................Ryan Jenkins, Auburn

First Base .............Hunter Morris, Auburn

Second Base.............Mike Freeman, Clemson

Third Base .............John Hinson, Clemson

Shortstop ..............B.A. Vollmuth, Southern Miss

Outfielder .............Wilson Boyd, Clemson

Outfielder .............Justin Fradejas, Auburn

Outfielder..............Jeff Schaus, Clemson

Pitcher ................Casey Harman, Clemson

Pitcher ................Scott Weismann, Clemson

Designated Hitter ......Trent Mummey, Auburn

Regional MVP............John Hinson, Clemson

- Tickets for the NCAA Super Regional between Clemson and Alabama will be available at the Clemson ticket office at Clemson Memorial Stadium this week. Tickets are $30 for a complete tournament book, $15 for a reserved single game ticket and $10 for a general admission single game ticket.

Tickets will be made available for Clemson season ticket holders beginning on Tuesday. Clemson IPTAY members will be able to purchase tickets on Wednesday. Remaining general admission tickets will be available Thursday and Friday.

The best of three-game series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium will start Saturday night at 6:00 PM. The second game will be Sunday at 7:00 PM. Monday’s if necessary game is slated for Monday at either 1:00 PM or 7:00 PM.


Clemson 13 (41-22)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Will Lamb dh.............  4  0  0  0   0  2  0  0   0
Mike Freeman 2b..........  5  1  1  0   0  2  1  1   1
Jeff Schaus lf...........  5  2  3  2   0  1  1  0   0
Kyle Parker rf...........  4  2  1  3   1  1  1  0   1
Brad Miller ss...........  5  1  2  1   0  0  2  0   0
John Hinson 3b...........  3  3  2  1   1  0  1  1   0
Richie Shaffer 1b........  3  2  1  3   2  0  6  3   1
Wilson Boyd cf...........  5  1  2  3   0  0  2  0   0
 Addison Johnson pr/cf...  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Spencer Kieboom c........  5  1  2  0   0  2 13  1   2
Scott Firth p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Dominic Leone p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Alex Frederick p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Kevin Brady p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 39 13 14 13   4  8 27  6   5

Auburn 7 (43-21)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Trent Mummey dh..........  5  1  1  1   1  0  0  0   4
Dan Gamache 3b...........  4  0  2  1   1  0  0  3   2
Brian Fletcher lf........  5  0  2  0   0  3  4  0   0
Hunter Morris 1b.........  5  0  0  0   0  1 10  2   4
Ryan Jenkins c...........  5  2  3  0   0  2  8  1   0
Casey McElroy ss.........  5  2  3  2   0  1  1  3   0
Creede Simpson cf........  4  1  2  0   1  2  0  0   2
Justin Bryant 2b.........  5  1  3  2   0  0  1  1   0
Justin Fradejas rf.......  3  0  1  1   0  2  1  0   0
 Kevin Patterson ph......  1  0  1  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Tony Caldwell pr/rf.....  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Jon Luke Jacobs p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Sean Ray p..............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Zach Blatt p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Cory Luckie p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Michael Hurst p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  2  0   0
 Cole Nelson p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 43  7 18  7   3 12 27 11  12

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 331 010 302 - 13 14  1
Auburn.............. 032 010 100 -  7 18  0
-------------------------------------------

E - LEONE(4). DP - CU 3. LOB - CU 5; Auburn 12. 2B - SCHAUS(12); HINSON(9);
SHAFFER(10); BOYD 2(13); Gamache, D.(15); Jenkins, R. 2(14); McElroy,
C.(11); Simpson, C.(11). HR - PARKER(20); HINSON(15); Mummey, T.(17);
McElroy, C.(9). HBP - HINSON. SH - LAMB(4). CS - Fletcher, B.(3).

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Scott Firth.........  1.1  4  3  2  1  1  8  9  36
Dominic Leone.......  1.2  3  2  2  2  3  9 11  47
Alex Frederick......  3.0  6  2  2  0  5 14 14  54
Kevin Brady.........  3.0  5  0  0  0  3 12 12  59

Auburn                 IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP
--------------------------------------------------
Jon Luke Jacobs.....  1.0  4  5  5  2  0  6  8  34
Sean Ray............  2.0  3  2  2  0  2  8  9  27
Zach Blatt..........  3.1  4  3  3  1  3 14 15  54
Cory Luckie.........  0.1  1  1  1  0  0  2  3  10
Michael Hurst.......  2.0  1  2  2  1  2  7  8  29
Cole Nelson.........  0.1  1  0  0  0  1  2  2   7

Win - FREDERICK (7-2).  Loss - Jacobs, J. (0-3).  Save - BRADY (1).
WP - FIRTH 2(2). HBP - by Luckie, C. (HINSON). BK - LEONE(2). Inherited
runners/scored: LEONE 2/1; BRADY 1/0; Ray, S. 1/1; Luckie, C. 2/2; Hurst, M.
1/0; Nelson, C. 2/2. Pitches/strikes: FIRTH 36/20; LEONE 47/25; FREDERICK 54/35;
BRADY 59/35; Jacobs, J. 34/17; Ray, S. 27/17; Blatt, Z. 54/36; Luckie, C. 10/5;
Hurst, M. 29/17; Nelson, C. 7/6.
Umpires - HP: Kelly Gonzalez  1B: Randy Bruns  2B: Randy Wetzel  3B: Brad
Hungerford  Start: 6:00   Time: 3:30   Attendance: 4096
Weather: 84; Mostly Cloudy; W-NNW 6 MPH
Jacobs, J. faced 2 batters in the 2nd.
FREDERICK faced 2 batters in the 7th.

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