Clemson Crushes Tide, Evens Series
On Sunday, No. 16 Alabama could not overcome a six-run first inning deficit and fell to No. 13 Clemson 19-5 in game two of the Super Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The teams will meet in the deciding third game of the series at 1 p.m. EDT (noon central) on Monday to determine if Bama or the Tigers makes it to the College World Series.
Alabama won the first game of the series, 5-4, on Saturday. Alabama is now 42-24 and Clemson is 42-23.
Alabama will send junior right-hander Nathan Kilcrease (33 G, 5 GS, 8-2, 2.42 ERA) to the mound on Monday. The Phenix City native was the Most Outstanding Player in the 2010 Atlanta Regional last weekend with wins over Elon and Georgia Tech. Clemson will counter with freshman right-hander Dominic Leone (19 G, 8 GS, 2-1, 4.89 ERA).
Monday's game will be televised by ESPN2.
Alabama will be seeking its sixth College World Series appearance on Monday. The Crimson Tide has played in Omaha in 1950, 1983, 1996, 1997 and 1999. Clemson will be looking for its 12th trip to the CWS.
Alabama is 3-3 in NCAA Super Regional play since the format was adopted in 1999. The Crimson Tide swept the LSU Tigers in a best-of-three series in 1999 and was swept by the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2006. The Clemson Super Regional marks the first time Alabama has played all three games in a Super Regional series.
The 19 runs scored by Clemson Sunday are the most against Alabama in an NCAA Tournament game. The previous high was 16 runs in a 16-1 loss to East Carolina at the 2008 NCAA Conway (S.C.) Regional. The margin of defeat equaled the second-highest total in NCAA Tournament history. The Crimson Tide lost by 15 runs to East Carolina (16-1) at the 2008 NCAA Conway (S.C.) Regional. Miami beat Alabama 15-1 at the 1996 College World Series in its other loss by 14 runs.
In the six-run first inning, Clemson sent 10 men to the plate, recorded five hits and benefited from two walks. Clemson right fielder Kyle Parker put the Tigers on the board with an RBI single to left that scored Mike Freeman. John Hinson's two-run single put the Tigers up 3-0 and a Richie Shaffer's sacrifice fly made it a 4-0 game. Spencer Kieboom capped the inning with a two-run double that staked the Tigers to a 6-0 lead.
Jake Smith put the Crimson Tide on the board when he led off the second inning with his 15th home run of the season to cut the deficit to 6-1.
The Clemson offense was too strong on Sunday as the Tigers scored two runs in the third and added single runs in the fourth and fifth before a nine-run sixth inning put the game out of reach for Alabama.
The Tigers collected 20 hits and drew nine walks against five Alabama pitchers. Jeff Schaus was 4-for-6 with three RBI, while Brad Miller was 4-for-4 with four RBI for Clemson.
Hinson and Shaffer hit back-to-back solo home runs to give the Tigers an 8-1 lead in the third inning. Alabama scored on an RBI ground out in the bottom of the third to make it 8-2.
Alabama starter Adam Morgan (7-6) allowed eight runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings en route to the loss.
Schaus' RBI single put Clemson up 9-2 in the fourth inning. Alabama added a run in the bottom of the fourth on three straight two-out singles by freshman DH Brett Booth, junior catcher Brock Bennett and sophomore center fielder Taylor Dugas to make it 9-3.
Freeman's two-out double in the fifth gave Clemson a 10-3 lead before a nine-run sixth inning gave the Tigers an overwhelming margin.
Clemson scored nine runs on four hits and took advantage of five walks against three different UA pitchers in the frame. Shaffer had a two-run single off senior left-hander David Head and Schaus added a two-run single against sophomore right-hander Tyler White. Miller's grand slam capped the inning and gave Clemson a 19-3 lead.
Alabama got a run in the fourth on a pair of doubles by sophomore left fielder Jon Kelton and Booth.
Clemson starter Scott Weismann (8-2) allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings for the win. He did not record a strikeout or issue a walk. The Tigers used one reliever for one inning apiece in the final three innings. Clemson pitchers have not walked a batter in 18 innings of play at the NCAA Super Regional.
Junior second baseman Ross Wilson homered in the seventh inning as the Tide made it 19-5.
Alabama had some offensive success stories.
Senior third baseman Jake Smith hit a solo home run in the second inning and has homered in four of his last five games. The Shannon native leads the Tide with four home runs and 15 RBI in 11 postseason games.
Freshman DH Brett Booth went 2-for-3 and is now 9-for-24 (.375) in seven postseason games.
Junior second baseman Ross Wilson went 2-for-4, including a solo home run in the seventh inning.
Junior catcher Brock Bennett was 2-for-2.
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