ON TO OMAHA!!!!

CLEMSON – Sean Clark said he felt like a 10-year-old, while Herman Demmink said it was almost surreal. Such are the feelings while experiencing life at the bottom of a dog pile in celebration of achieving your season-long goal to reach the College World Series.

For the first time since 2002, Clemson advanced to Omaha, Neb., after putting together another comeback to take the 6-5 victory over Oral Roberts and win the best-of-three Super Regional 2-0 Saturday evening in front of an overflowing crowd at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Shortstop Stan Widmann's two-out, two-run single to left in the top of the eighth inning capped the rally from a 4-0 deficit, while pitcher David Kopp threw 2.2 innings of exceptional relief to stymie the Golden Eagles' offense and pick up the win.

And when right fielder D.J. Mitchell hauled in a fly ball for the final out, it set off a a reaction that had been four years in the making.

"This isn't a time when you want to be on the couch watching other teams play," said Clark, who allowed just one run and struck out six over 3.2 innings of very important relief work. "To be able to let (your emotions) go, like I said before, it felt like was I was 10 years old."

CUTigers Coverage:

* Photo Gallery II
* Photo Gallery I
* Postgame Press Conference
* Notebook: Harbin on Fire
* Box Score

It wasn't the best game played defensively or thrown by Clemson (52-14) this season, but nonetheless the contest as a whole perfectly summed up what this baseball team has been about all year.

Some how and some way, more times than not, they find a way to win.

"This team has shown that kind of character all year," said Demmink, a senior and the team's designated hitter. "It's been evident in the past few games."

Conversely, Oral Roberts coach Rob Walton was dismayed at his team's inability to come up with clutch hits or get crucial outs in the late innings.

The Golden Eagles (41-16) left eight runners on base through the first three innings and 10 over the first five. They were never able to get that crucial two-out hit.

"I'm getting a lot of gray hairs here really quick," he said. "We had an opportunity early to run away from them. We got a chance to bury them early when a couple of key hits. They could have made a couple of runs and we still would've been alright."

As far as pitching is concerned, Oral Roberts was never able to put away the Tiger batters when it counted most.

After Clemson's Taylor Harbin hit a three-run shot in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 4-3, the Golden Eagles added one more in the seventh to push the advantage to 5-3, and it appeared as though a third game would be necessary.

But in the top of the eighth, Demmink started things off with a single to left. However, the next two hitters quickly made an out.

That brought up Friday's hero Tyler Colvin, who instead of hitting a bomb, hit a chopper to second baseman Jake Kahaulelio, who opted to wait for the ball rather than charge it, which allowed Colvin to beat the throw to first and put runners on first and second with two outs.

After a Taylor Harbin single brought in Demmink, Andy D'Alessio then walked to load the bases to bring up Widmann, who hasn't had very many big hits this year, despite his .304 average.

Oral Roberts pitcher Erik Crichton got two quick strikes on Widmann and was poised to get the third, but he threw a hanging breaking ball over the plate, which Widmann promptly drilled just past the reach of shortstop Tim Torres to score Harbin and Colvin and give Clemson the lead for good.

"We needed to bounce a breaking ball to Widmann," Walton said. "We're 95 percent sure he would swing through it. He'd had (39) punchouts on the year. We were just trying to bounce one short, and it didn't happen. He left it up.

"All weekend, when we hung a breaking ball, they didn't miss it."

And that's what has made this team one of the best in the nation all year. The Tigers always seem to hit, pitch or do something defensively to come out on top. And when they do all three in a single game, they've been practically untouchable.

"It's been a fun year since we've been out there," said Clemson coach Jack Leggett. "The kids have bought into everything. This is a very special team."

We shortly find how just how special this team is.

Clemson 6 (52-14)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Herman Demmink dh........  5  1  2  0   0  1  0  0   1
Brad Chalk cf............  4  0  1  0   1  1  2  0   0
Marquez Smith 3b.........  3  1  0  0   1  0  0  2   0
Tyler Colvin lf..........  4  2  2  0   0  0  2  0   0
Taylor Harbin 2b.........  3  2  2  4   0  0  1  0   0
Andy D'Alessio 1b........  3  0  0  0   1  1  6  0   2
Stan Widmann ss..........  3  0  1  2   1  0  2  2   0
D.J. Mitchell rf.........  4  0  0  0   0  2  4  0   2
Adrian Casanova c........  4  0  0  0   0  0  9  0   0
Stephen Faris p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  1   0
 Sean Clark p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 David Kopp p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
Totals................... 33  6  8  6   4  5 27  6   5

Oral Roberts 5 (41-16)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Brendan Duffy rf.........  5  1  2  1   0  1  5  0   1
Tim Torres ss............  3  1  1  0   2  0  2  2   1
Jake Kahaulelio 2b.......  4  0  1  1   1  0  2  2   3
Chad Rothford 1b.........  4  0  0  0   1  3  9  0   0
Andy Bouchie c...........  4  0  1  1   0  2  4  1   3
Kelly Minissale cf.......  5  1  2  1   0  1  3  0   0
Carter McQuigg 3b........  4  1  1  0   0  1  1  2   3
Travis DeBondt dh........  4  1  2  0   0  0  0  0   0
Pat Warfle lf............  2  0  0  1   0  1  1  0   0
Chris Ashman p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  3   0
 Erik Crichton p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Sean Jarrett p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 35  5 10  5   4  9 27 10  11

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Clemson............. 000 300 030 -  6  8  2
Oral Roberts........ 211 000 100 -  5 10  0
-------------------------------------------

E - M. SMITH(5); D'ALESSIO(3). DP - Clemson 1; Oral Roberts 1. LOB - Clemson
5; Oral Roberts 11. 2B - DeBONDT(14). HR - HARBIN(9). HBP - HARBIN; WARFLE.
SH - McQUIGG(9). SF - BOUCHIE(4); WARFLE(3). SB - DeBONDT(4).

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Stephen Faris.......  2.2  6  4  1  3  3 14 19
Sean Clark..........  3.2  3  1  1  1  6 14 16
David Kopp..........  2.2  1  0  0  0  0  7  8

Oral Roberts           IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Chris Ashman........  6.0  4  3  3  3  3 20 24
Erik Crichton.......  1.2  4  3  3  1  1  9 10
Sean Jarrett........  1.1  0  0  0  0  1  4  4

Win - KOPP (6-1).  Loss - CRICHTON (5-1).  Save - None.
WP - FARIS 2(8). HBP - by CLARK (WARFLE); by ASHMAN (HARBIN). BK - ASHMAN(3).
Umpires - HP: John Kleis  1B: Jim Garman  2B: Darrin Sealey  3B: Mark Chapman
Start: 4:06   Time: 3:28   Attendance: 5617


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