Tigers Eliminated in Starkville

The two very things that were the saving grace for the Clemson baseball team during its tough times this season were its undoing in the Super Regional against Mississippi State.

The pitching and defense for the Tigers were below par and it resulted in an early end to the season.

For the second straight day, Clemson claimed an early lead, but also for the second straight day, the pitching and defense weren't able to hold it as the Bulldogs (38-20) swept the best-of-three series with an 8-5 victory Saturday in front of a record crowd of 13,715 at Dudy Noble Field.

Mississippi State is the first team to punch its ticket for the College World Series in Omaha, while the season for the Tigers (41-23) is over.

On Friday, Clemson starting pitcher Daniel Moskos, who was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates, was touched for six runs over five innings and took the loss.

Saturday, it was David Kopp, who was drafted in the second round with the 71st pick overall by the St. Louis Cardinals, who was roughed up.

Kopp (6-3) couldn't get out of the second inning and gave up five runs, only three of which were earned due to an error by shortstop Taylor Harbin. He also gave up two walks.

It was that fateful second inning that ultimately Clemson's undoing.

The Bulldogs got four runs in that inning on three singles, a double, an error and a walk and Kopp was pulled before the inning was complete. When it was all said, Mississippi State held a 5-2 lead.

The Tigers managed to trim to 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth after a solo home run by catcher Doug Hogan, a single, error and double. But that's as close as they would get.

Mississippi State answered with two runs of its own in the top of the fifth to make it 7-4. The Tigers added another run in the sixth to make it 7-5. But a it turned out, that was the last run Clemson would score this season.

Now that the Tigers are done for the season, questions will immediately turn toward the controversy of Mississippi State hosting the Super Regional when all non-monetary statistics pointed to Clemson being the logical host.

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