Omaha, NE – The Clemson Tiger baseball team finished up their Tuesday game with the Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday afternoon in Omaha, and after another scary ending, got the win, 6-4. With the Tigers getting their second win of the College World Series having no losses, they now stand just one win away from a trip to the championship series and the shot at Clemson’s first ever national championship in baseball, and the ACC’s first national title in baseball since 1954. Wake Forest won it then.
In Tuesdays action both teams went scoreless through the first three innings, but in the fourth inning the bats came to life. Oklahoma dented the scoreboard first, when Caleb Bushyhead followed up a single and stolen base by Cody Reine for a one out single of his own, scoring Reine from second base. Clemson starter Scott Weismann then got the next batter Danny Black to ground out before finishing the inning with a strike out of Cameron Seitzer.
In the bottom half of that inning, the Tigers did their owning damage, and scored four runs to quickly erase the Sooner lead and go on top by three. Jeff Schaus started things off with a walk, then Kyle Parker walked also advancing Schaus to second. The next batter up, Brad Miller, would also draw a walk, the third in a row by Sooner starter Bobby Shore, moving Parker to second and Schaus to third.
Next up, John Hinson singled to center on a 3-1 count, moving each runner up 90 feet and pushing Schaus across for the first run of the day for the Tigers. Sooner skipper Sunny Golloway then decided to make a pitching change, and went to freshman righty Jack Mayfield to try to stop the bleeding.
After getting the first batter he faced to fly out to right field, Mayfield didn’t fare much better. On the fly ball, Miller moved to third and Parker scored, then Hinson stole second in the next pitch. Wilson Boyd then came to the plate and was walked on four straight pitches, making him the fourth walked batter of the inning for the Tigers. Freshman Spencer Kieboom then came up with the bases loaded and hit a single through the right side scoring Hinson from second and Miller from third, and moving Boyd around to third base.
Golloway then decided to make another call to the bullpen, and this time brought in senior lefty JR Robinson to pitch for Mayfield. Robinson got the first batter he faced, Chris Epps, to strike out swinging before Boyd would be caught off of third and was thrown out at home on the steal attempt. After four full innings of play, the Tigers led the Sooners 4-1.
The fifth inning was a short one for Weismann and the Sooner batters, and Scott got three of the four batters he faced to pop out, issuing a walk to the fourth one. In the bottom half, the Tigers got runs rolling again, this time with two outs on the board. After Mike Freeman struck out and Jeff Schaus grounded out, Kyle Parker blasted a triple to dead center field, bouncing one off the wall about six inches short of clearing the yellow line that designates a home run hit. Miller came up to bat next and popped a 1-0 pitch to deep left field, but not near as deep as Sooner left-fielder Max White thought it was. The ball ended up dropping in about 20 feet in front of and to the left of White, allowing Miller to reach second base and Parker to score. Hinson then hit an RBI single in the next at-bat scoring Miller for the unearned run. Shaffer ended the inning by lining out to center field. After five full innings, the Tigers had stretched their lead to five at 6-1.
Before the sixth inning could get underway, the decision was made to suspend play for lightning. After a 32 minute delay, the game was officially postponed, and was due to be resumed on Wednesday at 4:30 Est.
At the resumption of play, sophomore lefty Will Lamb got the nod for the Tigers, and made easy work of the first inning. After issuing a walk to the first batter he faced, Lamb followed that up with a strike out, fly out, and another strike out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers went scoreless as well though, and then it was the Sooners shot again in the top of the seventh. The first batter up that inning, Cameron Seitzer, blasted a solo home run to right center field. Lamb stayed calm though, and retired the next three batters he faced, all of which struck out while swinging.
The Tigers then once again went scoreless in the bottom of the inning and at the end of seven full innings, the Tigers still led 6-2.
To start off the eighth inning, Lamb got the first batter of the inning to fly out to center field, but that was quickly followed up by another solo home run, this time by Ogle down the right field line. Reine then flied out to centerfield for the second out of the inning, but Lamb then walked the next batter, Bushyhead, on five pitches. Second baseman Danny Black then doubled to right field pushing Bushyhead to third base.
Tiger head coach Leggett then made another call to the bull pen, this time going with freshman righty Dominic Leone. Leone walked the first batter he faced, Seitzer, but subsequently got pinch hitter Casey Johnson to pop up to the short stop to end the inning, but not before the Sooners had gotten one run closer, and the score was then 6-3 Clemson.
The Tigers came to bat in the bottom of the eighth hoping to get some insurance runs, but despite another pitching change for the Sooners, Erben for Robinson, the Tigers couldn’t manage to push any runs across the plate.
Now heading into the ninth inning with a three run lead, Dominic Leone gave up a single through the left side to lead off hitter Chris Ellison. Once again, Leggett made the call to the bull pen, this time bringing in the hot arm of Alex Frederick. Frederick got the first batter he would face to ground out to third base, but Ellison advanced to second on the play. Frederick then got the next batter to strike out swinging before Ogle doubled to right center, scoring Ellison. Frederick got out of the inning and ended the game for the Tigers though by getting Reine to fly out to left field.
In the end, the Tigers had won the game 6-4, and now stand one win away from the championship series. Before that though, Clemson will face the winner of the Oklahoma vs South Carolina game that will take place on Thursday.
Stay tuned to TheClemsonInsider.com for more on who the Tigers will be playing as well as what time the game will be. Whichever team it turns out to be will have to beat the Tigers twice in two days, and that, one would assume, would favor Clemson.