Tigers Topple Georgia Tech, 9-7

The Tigers used an 8-run 2nd inning to jump out to an almost insurmountable lead before holding on to defeat Georgia Tech 9-7. The Tigers won't take the field again until Wednesday, when they will face the winner of Tuesday's USC/Georgia Tech game.

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
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CLEMSON............. 080 000 100 -  9  9  1
GEORGIA TECH........ 023 001 100 -  7 14  0
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"I'm just pleased with where we're at right now, but there's a bigger goal in mind," said coach Jack Leggett said after the big win. "You've got to stay on edge if you want to win this tournament."

Clemson scored eight runs in the second inning and then leaned on the relief efforts of Jeff Hahn and Matt Henrie to garner a 9-7 win over Georgia Tech in the winner's bracket of the College World Series in Omaha, NE on Sunday. Clemson will next play at 7:00 PM EDT Wednesday on espn2 against the winner of the Georgia Tech-South Carolina contest.

After stater Tyler Lumsden allowed five runs in three innings, Jeff Hahn (3-0) threw 3.2 innings, allowing only two runs, to get his third win of the year. Matt Henrie made his second straight relief appearance and pitched 2.1 innings of one-hit relief for his first save of the year.

Lumsden got himself into a jam with no outs in the first inning by sandwiching two hit batsmen around a Victor Menocal single. But the freshman got himself out of the quandry by striking out Matt Murton and inducing a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame.

Clemson started the scoring with eight runs in the second inning. Michael Johnson led off with a double and Roberto Valiente followed with an infield single. Kyle Frank then hit a single to left that brought Johnson to the plate. The first baseman slid in just past the tag of Tech catcher Tyler Parker to put Clemson on the board. Steve Pyzik walked to load the bases and David Slevin followed with a single up the middle that scored two runs. After a a Zane Green strikeout and Khalil Greene walk, Jeff Baker cleared the bases by driving a 1-2 pitch to the gap in left center for three runs and a 6-0 lead.

The hit knocked Yellow Jacket starter Chris Goodman out of the game but the offense continued. Johnson hit his second double of the inning to score Baker and Valiente doubled to plate Johnson and cap the scoring.

"It's such an unpredictable game. You go 1-2-3 the first inning, then the next inning you get eight runs," Leggett said.

Georgia Tech got two runs back in the bottom of the inning with Jason Perry's leadoff home run and Eric Patterson's RBI-infield single.

Tech scored three runs in the third inning to make the score 8-5. Perry singled to center to score one run and a throwing error by Baker allowed to runners to come home. The Yellow Jackets scored another run in the sixth inning before Clemson answered in the seventh. Johnson notched his third hit of the day and his 24th home run of the season, a solo shot that extended the Tiger advantage to 9-6.

With two outs in the seventh, Menocal took a 3-2 pitch to right field that brought the Yellow Jackets to within 9-7. Henrie then entered the game and was steady the rest of the way. He gave up a leadoff single in the ninth inning and after he retired one batter, Tech's Patterson hit a line drive headed towards left-center field. However, shortstop Khalil Greene leaped in the air and snagged the ball to prevent a sure hit and Henrie retired the next batter to seal the win.

Johnson led the offense by going 3-3 with two doubles, a home run and two RBIs. Baker's three RBIs paced the team and Slevin also knocked in two runs. Khalil Greene went 0-4 with a walk to snap his 34-game hitting streak.

Other Notes:
A power surge between the sixth and seventh innings knocked out the scoreboard and most of the stadium lights.

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