(AP) - Tyler Colvin had a two-run triple to give Clemson the lead for good in the seventh and the Tigers broke open an unexpectedly tight game against North Carolina A&T with 11 runs their last two innings for a 12-2 victory at the NCAA tournament Friday night.
Clemson (40-21), the regional's host and top seed, was a heavy favorite against the Bulldogs (27-26), the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champs making their first-ever NCAA appearance.
The Tigers were ranked sixth according to the power ratings of popular college baseball site boydsworld.com - 222 spots ahead of North Carolina A&T.
But there were the Bulldogs and gritty starter Michael Hauff, ahead 2-1 in the seventh and confounding the powerful Tigers.
That's when Clemson's bats finally got going to put the game away.
After walks to pinch hitter Jesse Ferguson and Brad Chalk, Taylor Harbin blooped a one-out single into left that fell between outfielders Phillip Brewington and Jeremy Jones and scored pinch runner Daniel Pritchard to tie the game.
Colvin then followed with a fast-moving liner that landed just shy of the 400-foot mark in straightaway center, bringing in Chalk and Harbin with the go-ahead runs.
Clemson wasn't finished. Travis Storrer added an RBI single and Stan Widmann a run-scoring grounder before Herman Demmink put the game out of reach with a three-run triple of his own.
The Tigers piled on three more runs to make anyone who wasn't at Doug Kingsmore Stadium think this was a laugher.
Next up for Clemson is second-seed College of Charleston who defeated Oral Roberts 5-2 earlier Friday. The Tigers are 14-0 all time against Charleston, including an 8-5 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on May 17.
The Bulldogs take on Oral Roberts on Saturday with the loser's season over.
Tiger reliever Daniel Moskos (2-2) faced just one batter to end the seventh. It was enough to get the win, though.
For too a long a time for most orange-clad fans, North Carolina A&T outplayed the home team.
Nic Mayo had a RBI triple to tie the game at 1 in the fifth and the Bulldogs went ahead an inning later when Jones and Charlie Gamble opened with singles and Patrick Oates brought a run in with a ground out to second.
Hauff (8-5), however, couldn't hold the lead.