Tigers Roar Into Final Weekend

CLEMSON – Clemson is most definitely trying to send the NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Committee a message that it should be one of 16 hosts for a regional. And if the Tigers keep playing the way they have the last three games, it will be a moot point.

No. 15 Clemson cranked four home runs and pounded out 15 hits in its 19-7 runaway victory over College of Charleston Tuesday night in the final regular season home game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Tigers (35-18, 17-10 ACC) surged to big lead and win following a 10-run fourth inning, which enabled Clemson head coach Jack Leggett to actually relax a bit in the latter innings as opposed to having to sweat out every pitch.

During that inning, catcher Doug Hogan hit his 10th blast of the season, while three batters later, J.D. Burgess hit his first homer of the season, a three-run shot. D.J. Mitchell also hit his second home run of the season in that frame.

Of those 10 runs scored, eight came with two outs.

"We wanted to play well for our fans tonight," Leggett said. "I hope it's not the last time they see us. Hopefully we can play well and bring them a regional."

The game, which also included the 11th home run of the season by red-hot, third baseman Marquez Smith, had some much needed relaxation for the Tigers, which always seem to be in nail-biters.

"It was just fun for us," said shortstop Taylor Harbin, who has also been on fire and had six RBIs against the Cougars (37-16). "We had a lot of excitement in our dugout."

But what will bring even more excitement to Clemson is if the team can do well in the three-game series this weekend at N.C. State and then next week in the ACC Tournament in Jacksonville.

Should that happen, it practically seems a foregone conclusion that the Tigers will host the regional.

"That definitely is in the back of our minds," Harbin said. "If we get these wins, the regional thing will take care of itself."

And now that the big bats of Harbin, Smith and D'Alessio are heating up, and with the way the pitching has been holding up, there's no reason to believe a regional won't be in Clemson for the third straight year.

Also in the favor of the Tigers is the fact that every time they've been ranked in the top 20 of the USA Today Coaches Poll, they've hosted a regional.

"We've got a tough road to hoe with a minimum of six conference games," Leggett said. "We know what we have to do."

CUTigers.com Top Stories