Demmink's blast was a good sign for the Tigers. Not only did it give them a quick 1-0 lead in the NCAA Tournament Regional against Mississippi State, but in the three previous times he's hit a leadoff homer, Clemson went on to win.
This time was no different as the Tigers escaped with the 8-6 win over the Bulldogs Sunday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Demmink is the first Clmeson player to lead off an NCAA Tournament game with a home run since Zane Greene did in on June 19, 2002, College World Series game against South Carolina.
"I was just looking for a fastball up in the zone and that's what he threw me," Demmink said. "I was trying to drive it."
Greene actually led off three NCAA Tournament games with home runs in 2002.
NCAA All-Regional Team
Here is the 2006 Clemson Regional All-Tournament Team as voted on by the members of the media:
1B – Andy D'Alessio, CU (unanimous); 2B – Taylor Harbin, CU; 3B – Marquez Smith, CU; SS – Stan Widmann CU (unanimous); OF Mitch Moreland, MSU (unanimous); OF Brad Chalk, CU; OF – Tyler Colvin, CU; P – Sean Clark, CU; Justin Pigott, MSU; DH/Utility – Brian LaNinfa, MSU (unanimous).
Harbin also was named the regional's Most Valuable Player.
"It's a great feeling," he said. "I'm finally seeing the ball and getting my swing back. It's a great honor, but we've still got one more task ahead of us."
Game over two days
For the third time in two weeks, the Tigers have played a game past midnight.
Twice in the ACC Tournament in Jacksonville, Clemson and Georgia Tech went past the witching hour.
Sunday night's game officially ended at 12:30 a.m., because of a 2:22 rain delay.
"We've missed curfew several times," Tigers coach Jack Leggett joked. "I'm going to sleep in a little bit … maybe up until 8 o'clock (a.m.)."
Clemson first baseman Andy D'Alessio is tied for sixth all-time with Jerry Brooks for the most RBI by a Tiger in one season with 80. Khalil Greene holds the record with 91. … Leftfielder Tyler Colvin now has a 23-game hitting streak, which is the fifth longest in school history. Rusty Adkins holds the record with 41 straight. …
Third baseman Marquez Smith committed just his second error since taking over the starting job 26 games ago. The last time Smith made an error was on May 16, against College of Charleston. … After further research, the two back-to-back home runs hit by shortstop Taylor Harbin and D'Alessio Saturday night is the first time that's happened since 1927. There are no box score records prior to that year.
Catcher Adrian Casanova is mired in a horrid slump. He is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, has one hit in his last 23 at-bats, and is four for his last 39. The senior ended last season 1-for-23 and 2-for-32.
Clemson's Sunday Regional Notebook
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