Tigers Fall One Game Short of Omaha


by - Correspondent -
    |

WACO, Texas - Clemson's 2005 baseball season began under a cloud of the unknown. It ended in bitter disappointment, one step away from the College World Series.


In between, Jack Leggett's team gave Tiger fans an unexpected ride that ended deep in the postseason and, more importantly, seemed to answer any lingering questions about the future direction of the program.


Clemson's hopes of reaching Omaha were dashed Monday afternoon by virtue of a 6-1 loss to Baylor at the Waco (Texas) Super Regional.


After winning the first game of the series, the Tigers dropped two straight and could muster just two total runs in the losses against the Baylor (44-22) pitching staff.


"That's a feeling you'll never forget," Baylor catcher Josh Ford said. "I've never been that happy on a baseball field. Today was just our day."


Clemson's season ends with a record of 43-23.



"There's nothing easy about it," Leggett said. "Losing is never easy. But Clemson should be proud of these kids. They came a long way this year and have a very good future."


Baylor took control in the fourth inning against Clemson starter and loser Robert Rohrbaugh (8-3).


Ford tied the game 1-1 with a long home run to left-center. Reid Brees and Zach Dillon followed with back-to-back singles and Mike Pankratz walked to load the bases, bringing Kevin Sevigny to the plate.


Sevigny worked the count full, fouled off three straight pitches from Rohrbagh, then jumped on the next pitch and lined it to the wall in left-center. All three runners on base scored to give the Bears a 4-1 lead.


"I was just looking for a good pitch to put in play and drive to the gap," Sevigny said. "When it came 3-2, I knew they wouldn't walk me. Finally, they threw me a fastball right down the (middle)."


Ford drove in the Bears' fifth run with a double in the seventh inning. Seth Fortenberry iced the cake with a solo home run in the eighth, his fifth of the season.


Clemson had opened the scoring on Kris Harvey's solo home run in the second inning, his 25th of the season.


But despite hitting a number of balls hard off Baylor starter Cory VanAllen, the Tigers could do nothing further with the sophomore lefthander. He left in the sixth inning after allowing a leadoff single to Stan Widmann, the seventh hit he allowed in the game.


VanAllen (8-4) helped himself out of what could have been a major jam in the fourth inning, picking off Harvey at first base after the Clemson designated hitter led off with a single. The out was magnified moments later when Travis Storrer lined a hit to center field and, one out later, Widmann was hit by a pitch.


But VanAllen wiggled off the hook by getting Adrian Casanova to fly out to left field.


"They're a very good-hitting club and very aggressive," VanAllen said. "I tried to move off a little bit. We used the slider a lot, working it in and out."


Clemson also threatened in the seventh after Ryan LaMotta replaced VanAllen.


Herman Demmink lined a one-out single to center to give the Tigers runners on second and third, but LaMotta responded by striking out Brad Chalk and Taylor Harbin back-to-back.


LaMotta closed out the game by retiring six of the final seven batters he faced.


The final out came on a strikout of Demmink, at which point LaMotta flung his glove high into the air and ran to embrace catcher Zach Dillon. The two were immediately swarmed by the rest of the Baylor players, who ultimately formed a large pile just to the right of the pitchers mound.


After extracting themselves from the pile, Baylor players took a victory lap around the field, celebrating with its fans the school's first trip to the College World Series since 1978.


All the while, Clemson's players never left the dugout, intently watching the celebration before the teams finally met for the traditional postgame handshake.


"We got here and wanted to go to Omaha," Widmann said. "The young guys will just have to look forward to next year."


Clemson 1 (43-23)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB  Avg.
------------------------------------------------------------
Herman Demmink 3b........  5  0  2  0   0  2  0  4   0  .345
Brad Chalk cf............  3  0  0  0   0  1  3  0   0  .350
Taylor Harbin 2b.........  4  0  0  0   0  2  3  2   2  .343
Tyler Colvin lf..........  4  0  0  0   0  0  3  0   1  .283
Kris Harvey dh...........  4  1  2  1   0  0  0  0   0  .341
Travis Storrer rf........  4  0  3  0   0  0  0  0   0  .346
Andy D'Alessio 1b........  3  0  0  0   1  1  8  1   2  .276
Stan Widmann ss..........  3  0  2  0   0  0  0  2   0  .289
Adrian Casanova c........  2  0  0  0   0  0  5  0   4  .238
 Ben Hall ph.............  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0  .319
 Gene Pierce c...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0  .357
 Jesse Ferguson ph.......  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0  .154
Robert Rohrbaugh p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0     -
 David Kopp p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0     -
 Drew Fiorenza p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0     -
Totals................... 34  1  9  1   1  7 24 10   9

Baylor 6 (44-22)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB  Avg.
------------------------------------------------------------
Griffin, Michael 2b......  4  0  0  0   0  1  0  4   0  .292
Russo, Kevin 3b..........  4  1  1  0   0  0  1  1   0  .283
Ford, Josh c.............  4  1  3  2   0  0  7  0   0  .333
Brees, Reid lf...........  3  1  1  0   1  0  2  0   2  .277
 Gerdes, Chase cf........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0  .256
Dillon, Zach dh..........  4  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   2  .310
Pankratz, Mike rf........  1  1  0  0   1  0  0  0   0  .194
 Fortenberry, Seth rf....  2  1  1  1   0  0  1  0   0  .179
Sevigny, Kevin cf/lf.....  4  0  1  3   0  2  3  0   0  .226
Witt, Paul ss............  4  0  0  0   0  1  3  3   0  .255
Mandel, Jeff 1b..........  2  0  0  0   1  1 10  1   1  .200
VanAllen, Cory p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  3   0     -
 LaMotta, Ryan p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0     -
Totals................... 32  6  8  6   3  5 27 13   5

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 010 000 000 -  1  9  1
Baylor.............. 000 400 11X -  6  8  0
-------------------------------------------

E - HARBIN(9). LOB - Clemson 9; Baylor 5. 2B - Ford(19); Sevigny(8). HR -
HARVEY(25); Ford(8); Fortenberry(5). HBP - WIDMANN. SH - CHALK(15). CS -
HARVEY(1).

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP   ERA
--------------------------------------------------------
Robert Rohrbaugh....  4.1  6  4  4  1  3 19 20  90  4.22
David Kopp..........  3.0  2  2  2  2  1 11 13  46  4.61
Drew Fiorenza.......  0.2  0  0  0  0  1  2  2   5  4.98

Baylor                 IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF  NP   ERA
--------------------------------------------------------
VanAllen, Cory......  6.0  7  1  1  1  3 23 26  96  3.86
LaMotta, Ryan.......  3.0  2  0  0  0  4 11 11  39  2.11

Win - VanAllen (8-4).  Loss - ROHRBAUGH (8-3).  Save - LaMotta (7).
WP - ROHRBAUGH(3). HBP - by VanAllen (WIDMANN). PB - PIERCE(5). Inherited
runners/scored: KOPP 1/0; LaMotta 1/0. Pitches/strikes: ROHRBAUGH 90/56; KOPP
46/28; FIORENZA 5/4; VanAllen 96/59; LaMotta 39/26.
Umpires - HP: Joe Burleson  1B: Al Davis  2B: Mike Conlin  3B: Mark Ditsworth
Start: 12:07 pm   Time: 2:43   Attendance: 3780
Game notes:
Baylor advances to NCAA College World Series for the first time since 1978.
 Baylor will meet the winner of the Texas-Mississippi Super Regional in the
 first round at the 2005 NCAA College World Series.
VanAllen faced 1 batter in the 7th.

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.

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