The first day and Omaha hosted two oustanding baseball games. In the opener, Georgia Tech jumped out on Clemson 3-0 in the first inning. The wind was fiercely blowing out to left field to start the game. Wally Crancer hit a double to centerfield that carried over Brad Chalk's head. Matt Wieters singled in Crancer, and then Jeff Kindel crushed a two-run shot to center. Clemson starting pitcher Sean Clark showed some true grit. Clark could have folded his tent, but he battled going six-plus innings keeping the Tigers within reach. The Tigers struck in the eighth inning for the second consecutive game. Led by a two-run double by Marquez Smith and three-run homer by Andy D'Alessio, the Tigers scored eight runs to take lead. Closer Daniel Moskos quickly disposed of the Yellow Jackets in the ninth.
In the nightcap, Cal State Fullerton, the bracket favorite, was knocked off my North Carolina 7-5 in thirteen innings. The real story of the night could be that the Titans may have shown some vulnerability. The Titans are without closer Victor Pestano, and they turned to starter Lauren Gagnier out of the pen. Gagnier got the loss for the Titans going 2 1/3 innings giving up two runs. Gagnier is still expected to start on Sunday against Georgia Tech, but the Titans may not have the depth in their bullpen they need without Pestano. After a rough start, the Tar Heels pitching staff flexed their muscle by holding the Titans scoreless for the final 10 innings.
The Titans and Yellow Jackets will take the field in an elimination Sunday at 2 p.m. The Tigers and Tar Heels will take the field Sunday evening at 7 p.m.