After finding out a power surge had killed the cable access throughout the Jervey Athletic Center and Doug Kingsmore Stadium, players and coaches scurried up the road to Vickery Hall into a meeting room with a few minutes to spare before ESPN started the selection show. Then, just seconds before the show was to start, pitcher Matt Vaughn dumped his Gatorade causing another ruckus as players tried to get out of the way of the liquid mess.
But when the Tigers saw Clemson up on the big screen and saw they will be playing Tennessee Tech on Friday, nothing could take away their appreciation for the moment and what it meant to officially be back in the tournament.
"Just to see our name up there was nice," centerfielder Wilson Boyd said.
It was nice because the bid, and then the fact they did enough to be rewarded as a host site for this weekend's regionals, was a result for all the hard work and dedication that went into it, which started moments after not seeing their name in the field during last year's selection show.
"That was awesome. That was a huge feeling," first baseman Ben Paulsen said. "Graham Stoneburner is my roommate and as the day went on yesterday and we saw that we were hosting, we were like ‘man this is awesome.' As it started setting in more and more and as we got more and more excited, by dinner time we were giving each other high-fives that we were hosting.
"This was a big-time thing for us and everybody is really excited after what happened last year. This is the first time I have hosted at Clemson since I have been here so I'm just excited to see all the fans that will be out there."
Those fans will be cheering for their Tigers on Friday when No. 1 seed Clemson (40-19) hosts No. 4 Tennessee Tech, while No. 2 Alabama will play No. 3 Oklahoma State in the early game.
"I'm excited about having a regional back here at home," head coach Leggett said. "I think our players are excited about being here because we have been on the road for a long period of time. This will be a tough tournament.
"We played Tennessee Tech a couple of years ago and then we have either Oklahoma State or Alabama, who are both very good teams from very good conferences so it will be a big challenge for us."
But the biggest challenge started last year when for the first time since 1986 a Clemson team was not in the NCAA field. Now, the Tigers are not only back where they feel they belong, but they are considered one of the favorites to contend for it all.
And this time they appreciate what it means even more to be in this position.
"It was one of those given type things, and it did not come our way last year so they are excited about getting back to the tournament and hosting and being back where we expect to be."
2009 NCAA REGIONAL BASEBALL TICKET SCHEDULE
ALL-SESSION RESERVED TICKETS:
Monday, IPTAY members can purchase
Tuesday, General Public can purchase
Reserved Ticket Book: $70
SINGLE GAME TICKETS:
Friday, May 29 (8 a.m.) Tickets on sale for Games 1 & 2 online at clemsontigers.com, The Clemson Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-CLEMSON
Friday, May 29 (conclusion of the Friday evening game) Tickets on sale online for Games 3 & 4
Saturday, May 30 Games 3 & 4-Tickets on sale at Doug Kingsmore Stadium 1.5 hours prior to Game 3
Saturday, May 30 (conclusion of Game 4) Tickets on sale online for Game 5
Sunday, May 31 Game 5 Tickets on sale at Doug Kingsmore Stadium 1.5 hours prior to game time
Sunday, May 31 (conclusion of Game 5) Tickets on sale for Game 6 at Gate ONLY
Game 7 if Needed:
Sunday, May 31 (conclusion of Game 6) Tickets on sale online
Monday, June 1 Game 7 Tickets on sale online at The Clemson Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-CLEMSON
Reserved Seats (per game) $12
General Admission (per game) $8
Tigers appreciate what this selection means
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