Walk-off Grand Slam

CLEMSON – The life of Tyler Colvin just keeps getting better and better. A few days after being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft, the Clemson leftfielder did something that's never been done in school history – hit a game-winning grand slam.

Colvin's shot over the right field fence propelled Clemson to the come-from-behind 11-8 victory over Oral Roberts in the first game of a best-of-three Super Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Friday afternoon.

The Tigers (51-14) now stand one win from reaching the College World Series.

It's the first walk-off home run in Colvin's baseball life and the first bad outing for Golden Eagles pitcher Sean Jarrett as a reliever this season.

"He threw a slider and he left it up," Colvin said. "I was just going up there to try and hit the ball hard and hopefully find a hole. Luckily, I just hit it over the fence. It was pretty exciting."

Clemson was forced into the dramatic situation after its closer Daniel Moskos surrendered the lead and three runs in the top of the ninth to give Oral Roberts (41-15) an 8-7 lead.

The Golden Eagles were just one strike away from the game being over, but the managed to score all three of their runs with two outs.

That set the tables for one of the most dramatic comebacks in Tigers history.

After pinch hitter Ben Hall flied out to right to start the bottom of the ninth, designated hitter Herman Demmink singled to center. He was followed by centerfielder Brad Chalk, who dropped down a perfect bunt for a base hit to put runners on first and second with one out.

"He did it on his own," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said of Colvin's bunt. "He put in No Man's Land and beat it out."

Tigers third baseman Marquez Smith then hit a chopper to hole between shortstop and third, where Oral Roberts shortstop Tim Torres made a diving catch to keep the ball from going into leftfield and allowing Demmink to score.

Instead, the bases were loaded with only one out and Colvin up to bat.

"When Marquez got that hit, we knew that we were coming back, especially with Colvin coming up," said Clemson second baseman Taylor Harbin, who scored three runs Friday. "We've jumped on his back and let him carry us the whole season."

Two pitches later, the game was over.

"All of us position players had confidence in Sean Jarrett on the mound," said second baseman Jake Kahaulelio. "He usually is unstoppable. It might have been his turn (to struggle)."

There were four other home runs in the game.

Demmink hit his fifth of the year in to lead off the bottom of the first to tie the score at 1-1.

Travis DeBondt then followed with his third of the year, a three-run shot to left in the top of the second to give his Golden Eagles a 4-1 lead and knock Clemson starting pitcher Jason Berken from the game.

In the bottom half of that same inning, Harbin hit a solo blast to left, his eighth of the season, to cut the lead to 4-2.

After Clemson had added two more runs to tie it at 4-4, Chad Rothford absolutely smoked a P.J. Zocchi pitch over the fence in right to give Oral Roberts a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth.

The Tigers eventually added three more runs to hold a 7-5 advantage heading into the top of the ninth.

"It was an epic battle, there's no question about that," Leggett said. "We just battled back. Every time they scored, we answered. We showed some great toughness today. They did, too."

Golden Eagles coach Rob Walton said he expects a much better effort from his pitching staff tomorrow and a better all-around game from his team.

"I like our club," he said. "I thin we're special. It will be hard to take two in a row from us. We had a poor day on the mound, but it doesn't mean we're going to do it again like that tomorrow. I believe in my club; I think we're a team of destiny. I believe our guys can go out and compete."

Saturday's game gets underway at 4 p.m., with Stephen Faris (9-2, 2.34 ERA) getting the start for Clemson, while Chris Ashman (10-1, 2.02 ERA) goes for Oral Roberts.

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