Cal State Fullerton and three Atlantic Coast Conference teams–Clemson, Georgia Tech and North Carolina–won the opening games of the best-of-3 super-regional round Friday, putting them one win away from the College World Series.
All hope wasn’t lost for the losing teams, as four of the eight teams that advanced to Omaha in 2005 did so after losing the first super-regional game. Those four sites continue play with the second game Saturday, when the other four super-regional sites also begin play for a full day of action.
Clemson 11, Oral Roberts 8
left fielder Tyler Colvin hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth
inning, as Clemson rallied to a 11-8 win after squandering a 7-5 lead in the ninth.
“He (Sean Jarrett) threw a slider and he left it up,” said Colvin, who was selected by the Cubs in the first round of the MLB draft on Tuesday. “I was just going
up there to try and hit the ball hard and hopefully find a hole.
Luckily, I just hit it over the fence. It was pretty exciting, that
was my first walk-off hit.”
The contest featured four lead
changes and seven ninth-inning runs. Clemson, which trailed 4-1 before
its second at-bat, carried a 7-5 lead into the ninth inning, where Oral
Roberts scored three times off of Clemson closer Daniel Moskos to take a one-run lead. Moskos ended up picking up the win after Colvin’s home run off of Sean Garrett. Colvin’s grand slam was the first walk-off grand slam in Tigers history.
in four runs for Clemson, which also got three hits and three RBIs from
right fielder D.J. Mitchell. Mitchell was subbing for Travis Storrer,
who hasn’t played since the regular season ended because of an injured ankle.
Herman Demmink and Taylor Harbin also homered for the Tigers. Left
fielder Travis DeBondt hit a three-run homer for Oral Roberts, and
first baseman Chad Rothford homered and drove in two runs for the
Clemson starter Jason Berken was chased after only 1 1/3 innings, as he allowed four runs, two of which were earned. He was replaced by P.J. Zocchi, who kept the Tigers in the game by allowing only one run in five innings.
Clemson will get a chance to earn a spot to the College World Series when the two teams return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Cal State Fullerton 7, Missouri 1
Righthander Wes Roemer allowed a career-high tying 11 hits over eight innings, but worked around all the baserunners thanks to nine strikeouts in a 7-1 win against Missouri at Godwin Field.
Missouri scored a first-inning run but came away with nothing after loading the bases with no outs in the third inning and after getting two on with one out an inning later.
Max Scherzer retired the first 12 Fullerton batters he faced, but second baseman Justin Turner tied the game with an RBI double in the sixth inning and added two more RBIs with another double as part of a five-run rally in the seventh. A one-out double by DH David Cooper earlier in the seventh scored Danny Dorn with what proved to be the game-winning run.
The two teams will play the second game of the series at 10 p.m. on Saturday.
North Carolina 11, Alabama 5
Lefthander Andrew Miller struck out 11 Alabama batters and didn’t allow an earned run in seven innings as North Carolina picked up an 11-5 win at Thomas-Sewell Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Miller allowed five hits and one walk, and Alabama scored two unearned runs against him on two seventh-inning errors.
Miller, the Tigers first round pick in Tuesday’s draft, kept the Crimson Tide batters off balance all night, as his secondary stuff proved just as good as his fastball.
“Andrew has a terrific breaking ball and hard slider and that’s a tough
pitch for lefties to hit,” North Carolina coach Mike Fox said. “We threw Alabama a lot of them and when we
thought they might be diving for the off-speed pitch we threw them a
fastball inside just to keep them honest.”
Fellow lefty Wade LeBlanc, the Padres’ second-round choice on Tuesday, wasn’t as strong for the Crimson Tide, allowing eight runs–six earned–on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings to take his first loss of the year.
“To sum it up in one word, my night was terrible,” he said. “I didn’t come out and
do my job. My job was to come out and keep the game close and give
these guys a chance. They did their part. I just didn’t come out and do
“You name it, it wasn’t working. I didn’t have anything tonight. The
biggest game of my year and I didn’t bring my `A’ game. I didn’t bring
it to the table.”
Shortstop Josh Horton and catcher Tim Federowicz both homered and drove in three runs for the Tar Heels, who also got three RBIs from left fielder Jay Cox. Leadoff man Mike Cavasinni went 5-for-6 to lead UNC’s 17-hit attack.
The two teams will face off again at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Georgia Tech 5, College of Charleston 0
Righthander Blake Wood threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings, and Matt Wieters and Jeff Kindel homered as Georgia Tech beat College of Charleston 5-0 at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Wood allowed eight hits, walked one batter and struck out six. Righthander Brad Rulon earned a save by working the final 2 1/3 innings.
“I think that for one, he has a really good fastball
so when he throws his breaking ball and his changeup in different
spots, he can usually get out of a jam,” Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said. “Today, he used his changeup a
little more than he had been. He threw some fast balls to keep them
off-stride. I think their hitters can hit pretty well so to throw a
shutout against them says a lot about our pitching.”
Kindel’s second-inning homer gave Tech a 1-0 lead, and the left fielder helped preserve that advantage in the fourth inning by throwing out Alex Garabedian at home plate.
“The ball gets through and you got to send him in
that situation and he made a great throw to the plate and I was
thinking ‘maybe we can get one out of this’, but a great throw and tag
at the plate and just denied us again, and that’s tough,” College of Charleston coach John Pawlowski said. “We score one
there, you never know what’s going to happen.”
Wieters’ homer came in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 2-0, and he later added an RBI single to complete a two-hit, two-RBI day. Wieters is 10-for-13 in the NCAA tournament with four home runs in four games.
Georgia Tech and College of Charleston will play the second game of the series on Saturday at 1 p.m.