Tigers roar in Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. – Despite the pressure-packed situation Alex Frederick walked into at Rosenblatt Stadium Monday, he was as cool as a cucumber preserving Clemson's 6-3 win over Arizona State.

BOX SCORE: Clemson 6 Arizona State 3

Frederick had no problems while relieving out brother at arms Casey Harman, who improved to 8-3 with the Tigers' win.

"I never get tight. I never think about it too much. I relax and always realize there are a lot of more things in life than baseball that you could get tense about," Frederick said. "Baseball is sport where you should go out and have fun."

He does have a problem with fretting over a situation in a baseball game.

"Only a certain amount of people get to do it. To get uptight and nervous about, that's something I don't really believe in," Frederick said.

It's a good thing too, because he was thrown into the lion's den. With no outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Frederick retired all three batters he faced with a pop fly, fielder's choice and strikeout.

Arizona State scored just one run as he went on to pick up his third save of the season after three innings of one-hit work.

A veteran of the College World Series, Clemson coach Jack Leggett said it's always important to win the first one in Omaha, even if bad weather forced the game back another day.

"It gives a boost in confidence. We didn't play (Sunday) night, so we played today. I think it's good we get right back on the horse and play again (Tuesday)," he said.

With the win, Clemson improved to 44-23 and moves on to play Oklahoma at 9 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday. Top-seeded Arizona State drops to 52-9 and will play in Tuesday's elimination game against South Carolina.

The Sun Devil pitching staff managed to retire the Tiger batters in order in only the fourth and ninth innings.

All 14 of the Clemson hits were singles.

"I think some of our singles turned to doubles because we ran the bases pretty well—stole some bases," Leggett said. "We did some pretty good things, as far as pushing runners around. I don't know how that was much of a factor. I'm just glad we had some singles when we had to have them."

Clemson loaded the bases in each of the first two innings, but no runners were pushed across in the first frame. Brad Miller lined into a double-play to the shortstop to end the inning.

Damage was done in the second, though.

Richie Shaffer started the two-run rally with a single and was later driven in with a hit by Spencer Kieboom. Wilson Boyd scored the second run, thanks to an error by Arizona State shortstop Deven Marrero.

In the fifth, John Hinson singled in Jeff Schaus, who led off the inning with a walk. Shaffer later drove in Parker from third with a single, which Arizona State leftfielder Drew Maggi lost in the Omaha sun. Boyd knocked Hinson in for the third run of the inning.

Arizona State starter Seth Blair, who was charged with his first loss of the season, allowed five runs and seven hits over 4-1/3 innings.

"He wasn't filling up the zone," said Arizona State Tim Esmay. "I thought Clemson did a good job of being very patient. They were making him pitch, making him throw pitches to the zone. He just wasn't on it, wasn't efficient."

Blair walked a season-high five batters and needed 110 pitches to get through his outing.

"They did a good job of being patient. When they got a good pitch, they hit it," Esmay said.

Blair's replacement, Brady Rodgers, gave up four hits, including Schaus' RBI single in the sixth, which gave Clemson a 6-1 lead.

"We feel really good what we did today," Leggett said, "but we're focused on what we've got to do against Oklahoma, who's been playing very, very well and has a lot of confidence also."

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