A Little Home Cookin'

CLEMSON – A year ago at this very time, a young and inexperienced Clemson baseball team was preparing to play in a super regional at Baylor, which was a team loaded with pitching and had several players taken in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft.

The roles couldn't be any more reversed in 2006.

Every position starter is back for the Tigers (50-14), while Oral Roberts (41-14) only has eight players returning from its 2005 team that played in the Clemson Regional.

Moreover, this weekend's super regional is in the comfy confines at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and not 970 miles away in a wasteland.

"I think if we would have played (Baylor) here, we would have had a better chance," Clemson right fielder Travis Storrer said. "You don't want to brag, but we feel like we're the team to beat right now. We just have to go out there and prove it."

Tigers shortstop Taylor Harbin said the biggest difference there will be 6,000 fans cheering for he and his teammates as opposed to being hostile.

"There's a lot less stress on us and we have a lot more confidence," he said. "We're just trying to get the jitters out. It's a lot more exciting because you have the fans behind you 100 percent."

ORU Quick Facts
The school, founded in 1963 by its namesake, is located in Tulsa, Ok., and has an enrollment of 5,389 students. Oral Roberts is the Chancellor, while Dr. Richard Roberts is the President.

The team, which is a member of the Mid-Continent Conference, plays at J.L. Johnson Stadium, which holds 2,418.

The Golden Eagles are making their ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and their 18th overall. However, this is the school's first trip to the super regionals.

Trivia question: Name the seven schools in the Mid-Continent Conference.

ORU's Jones Likes Clemson
Nick Jones, the Golden Eagles starter Friday afternoon, knows and likes the surroundings at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

A year ago when Oral Roberts played College of Charleston in an elimination game in the Clemson Regional, Jones (7-4, 3.67 ERA) threw a four-hit shutout out against the Cougars to propel the Golden Eagles to the regional championship, where they eventually lost 8-3 to Clemson.

"It just makes this a great place to play," Jones said. "I was a junior last year pitching for the seniors, trying to keep their season alive. Ironically now, I'm going out here again trying to keep my season alive."

Berken Ready
Pitcher Jason Berken, who gets the start for the Tigers Friday, said he's been itching to get back on the mound since rain held his outing last week to only one inning.

He's also anxious to get his first postseason win.

"Just being a part of it this year is an incredible feeling," said Berken (9-3, 2.72 ERA), who missed all of last year while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his elbow. "They've got a great lineup, but we feel like our pitching staff is pretty good. It's going to be a challenge for us."

Quick Hits
Three of the four teams from the Clemson Regional last year are in the super regionals this year – Clemson, Oral Roberts and College of Charleston. … Tigers outfielder Tyler Colvin said being drafted in the first round by the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday still hasn't set in yet. …

Oral Roberts star catcher Andy Bouchie said he'd never heard of the man Oral Roberts until he went to school there. … The Golden Eagles have won 11 straight, 22-of-23 and 31-of-34. They also had six rainouts this season. …

Trivia question answer: Centenary, Chicago State, Oakland (Mich.), Oral Roberts, Southern Utah, Valparaiso and Western Illinois.

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