Tigers Force Game Three With Razorbacks For Trip To Omaha


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Whatever it was that lulled Clemson to sleep heading into this weekend's NCAA Super Regional, Friday night's 9-6 loss to Arkansas apparently was enough to jolt Jack Leggett's Tigers back to consciousness.


Clemson pounded three home runs and showed a remarkable ability to score with two outs in an inning, then held off a furious late-inning rally to defeat the Razorbacks 8-5 Saturday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Six of the Tigers' eight runs came courtesy of two-out base hits.


The series now stands tied 1-1, with the third and deciding game set for 2 p.m. today.


"It was a tough ballgame," Leggett said. "A tough one to lose, but a big one to win. Now we'll be ready to play (today)."


"We knew this was a must win," said junior Jarrod Schmidt. "The crowd was into it today, all the players were into it. It was an intense moment. To end the game the way we did feels good...it leaves us on a high going into (today)."


Matt Henrie (12-4) continued his marvelous postseason pitching, limiting Arkansas to seven hits in seven-plus innings. He gave up two runs in the second on a two-out base hit by Kirk McConnell, then proceeded to retire 16 of the next 17 batters he faced.


The only Razorback to reach first during that stretch came on a throwing error by third baseman Jeff Baker.


"I thought (Henrie) did a great job," said Arkansas coach Norm DeBriyn. "I thought we were going to get to him there and maybe put up some runs, and I look up late in the game and we've still only got three hits. We finally got a couple back-to-back there (late) to make it a ballgame."


Arkansas snapped the streak and chased Henrie with four straight hits to open the eighth inning, the last of which - a single by Andrew Wishy - drove in a run to cut Clemson's lead to 8-3. Leggett brought in freshman Jeff Hahn, who allowed one run to score on a fielder's choice and another on a sacrifice fly before ending the inning by getting pinch hitter Jeff Fletcher to fly out to right.


Hahn allowed Michael Conner's two-run homer with one out in the ninth that cut the lead to 8-7, then gave up a single to Nick Pitts. Leggett then brought in B.J. LaMura to face Wishy, who struck out the Razorbacks' designated hitter on three pitches.


After pinch runner Luke Weatherford stole second, LaMura ended it by striking out Brady Toops.


"I was actually trying to get the first guy to hit a ground ball, hit into a double play," LaMura said. "But I was able to throw strikes. I had good velocity tonight. I just felt good."


Clemson - officially the visitor Saturday - set the tone on the game's fourth pitch when Zane Green homered to right, about 15-feet inside the foul pole. It marked the second time this postseason that Green has led off a Tigers' first inning with a long ball, and all three of his homers this year have come in the NCAA Tournament.


Trailing 2-1 in the third, Khalil Greene hit a two-out, two-run homer to dead centerfield off Arkansas starter and loser Jarrett Gardner (4-4) to put the Tigers ahead to stay, 3-2. Michael Johnson's leadoff home run in the fourth inning made it 4-2.


In the sixth, Roberto Valiente's double and consecutive singles by Jarrod Schmidt (RBI), Kyle Frank and Steve Pyzik (RBI) - all after the first two batters had been retired - produced two more runs for a 6-2 lead. David Slevin followed Pyzik's hit with a walk to load the bases, but Green flew out to left to end the threat.


Schmidt singled in two more runs with two outs in the seventh to make it 8-2.


"Not being able to get those outs when we needed them, that was probably the game right there," said Arkansas coach Norm DeBriyn.


NOTES:


- There was a nearly 10-minute delay during the Razorback's eighth-inning rally when home plate umpire Perry Costello was hit by a pitch on his left knee. He laid motionless on the ground while being attended to by the Clemson medical staff, but eventually was helped to his feet and stayed in the game.


- Khalil Greene's home run was his 25th of the season, tying him with Baker for the Clemson single-season record. Johnson's roundtripper was his 22nd.

Clemson 8 (51-15)

Player              AB  R   H   RBI BB  SO  PO  A   LOB
Green, Zane dh      4   1   2   1   0   1   0   0   3
 Triplett, R ph/dh  1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Greene, Khalil ss   5   2   3   2   0   0   1   4   1
Baker, Jeff 3b      4   1   1   0   1   2   1   2   0
Johnson, Michael 1b 5   1   1   1   0   1   10  0   0
Valiente, R lf      4   1   2   0   1   1   3   0   1
Schmidt, Jarrod rf  4   1   2   3   0   1   2   0   0
Frank, Kyle cf      4   0   1   0   0   0   2   0   1
Pyzik, Steve c      3   0   1   1   1   0   7   0   0
Slevin, David 2b    2   1   1   0   1   0   1   5   0
Henrie, Matt p      0   0   0   0   0   0   0   1   0
 Hahn, Jeff p       0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 LaMura, B.J. p     0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Totals......        36  8   14  8   4   6   27  12  6

Arkansas 7 (35-27)

Player              AB  R   H   RBI BB  SO  PO  A   LOB
McConnell, Kirk lf  4   0   2   2   0   0   2   0   1
Bridges, Scott 2b   5   2   2   0   0   0   3   3   0
Conner, Michael cf  5   2   2   2   0   1   3   1   3
Pitts, Nick 1b      5   1   2   0   0   1   7   1   1
 Weatherford, L pr  0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Wishy, Andrew dh    5   0   1   1   0   2   0   0   0
Clark, Cody c       3   1   0   0   0   1   6   2   0
 Toops, Brady ph/c  2   0   0   1   0   1   1   0   1
Goodwin, Clay 3b    3   0   0   1   0   0   0   2   0
Fox, Ryan rf        2   1   0   0   1   0   2   1   0
Hode, Scott ss      2   0   0   0   1   0   2   1   0
 Fletcher, J ph/ss  1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   2
Gardner, Jarrett p  0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Pomeroy, Kyler p   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
 Merryman, Josh p   0   0   0   0   0   0   1   0   0
 Brannon, Clint p   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0
Totals......        37  7   9   7   2   6   27  11  8

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 102 102 200 -  8 14  2
Arkansas............ 020 000 032 -  7  9  0
-------------------------------------------

E - BAKER 2(12). DP - Arkansas 2. LOB - Clemson 6; 
Arkansas 8. 2B - VALIENTE(6). 3B - McCONNELL(8). HR - 
GREEN(3); GREENE(25); JOHNSON(22); CONNER(16). HBP - 
McCONNELL; FOX. SH - SLEVIN(5). SF - GOODWIN(3). SB -
GREENE(16); BRIDGES(13); WEATHERFORD(5). CS - VALIENTE 2(2).

Clemson             IP  H   R   ER  BB  SO  AB  BF  NP
Henrie, Matt        7.0 7   5   3   2   4   30  32
Hahn, Jeff          1.1 2   2   2   0   0   5   8
LaMura, B.J.        0.2 0   0   0   0   2   2   2

Arkansas            IP  H   R   ER  BB  SO  AB  BF  NP
Gardner, Jarrett    5.2 7   5   5   3   4   19  23
Pomeroy, Kyler      0.0 3   1   1   1   0   3   4
Merryman, Josh      1.1 3   2   2   0   1   7   7
Brannon, Clint      2.0 1   0   0   0   1   7   7

Win - HENRIE (12-4).  Loss - GARDNER (4-4).  Save - LaMURA (1).
HB - HAHN 2. PB - PYZIK(11).
Umpires - Home:Perry Costello  1st:Bob Homolka  
2nd:Larry Donovan  3rd:Joe Burleson  
Start: 7:18   Time: 3:06   Attendance: 5392
Game: CU060802
Game notes:
Game 2 of Clemson (SC) Super Regional.
Series is tied 1-1.
Clemson & Arkansas will play each other in Game 3 
Sunday at 2:00 PM EDT.
POMEROY faced 4 batters in the 6th.
HENRIE faced 4 batters in the 8th.

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