Clemson rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the seventh inning in beating Oklahoma State 6-5 to earn a trip to the Super Regional at Arizona State.
The Tigers scored three runs with two out in the 7th. The big blow was a two run homer by Chris Epps.
Then in the 8th, Kyle Parker, who was inserted as a pinch hitter earlier in the game and who was just 1-10 in the regional at that point, ripped a two run single down the left field line to drive in the winning runs.
The Cowboys got runners to first and second with two outs in the 9th but Matt Vaughn struck out Mark Ginther to end the game.
Vaughn picked up the win and the Tigers Chris Epps was named the regional MVP.
The Tigers take a 44-20 record into the Super Regional in Tempe. The first game will be Saturday night at 9:00 PM Eastern and will be televised on ESPNU. The second game will be at 10:00 PM Sunday night and will be televised on ESPN2. And a third game, if necesssary, will be played Monday night at 7:00 PM and televised by ESPN2.
Clemson post game notes:
•Clemson is now 11-0 under Jack Leggett in home NCAA tournament games that could clinch a regional or Super Regional championship.
•In Jack Leggett’s 11 home NCAA regional or Super Regional titles, Clemson had suffered a loss earlier in the tournament just once. That was in the 2002 Super Regional when Clemson lost the opener of the three game series, then won the last two games.
•Clemson is now 25-2 in home NCAA Tournament games in the 21st century. The only losses have been to Arkansas in a Super Regional game in 2002 and earlier in this tournament to Oklahoma State.
• Leggett is now 56-31 in NCAA tournament play, including 36-6 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. With the 56 NCAA tournament wins he is Clemson’s winningest coach in post season play. Bill Wilhelm had 42 NCAA tournament wins.
•This is the first NCAA regional or super region clinching victory for the Tigers at Kingsmore Stadium since the 2006 Super Regional when Tyler Colvin hit a walk-off grand slam to send the Tigers to the College World Series with a win over Oral Roberts. The score of that game was also 6-5.
•Kyle Parker had the biggest hit of the game with a two-run single with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Clemson trailed 5-4 before that hit, which put the Tigers in the lead 6-5, the eventual final score. Parker had been just 1-9 at the plate in the NCAA tournament prior to that hit and was 5 for his last 30 at the plate.
•Clemson trailed 5-4 entering the bottom of the eighth inning this evening. Clemson had been just 1-13 when trailing after seven innings entering tonight’s game.
•Chris Epps was the most valuable player of the Clemson Regional. He entered the regional with just two home runs all year, then hit two in this regional, including one tonight that brought Clemson to within two runs at 5-3.
•Clemson enters the Super Regional with a 44-20 record and 19 wins in its last 25 games.
*Clemson advances to the Super Regional and will face Arizona State and head coach Pat Murphy. This will be just the second meeting on the baseball diamond between the two schools. Arizona State defeated Clemson at the 1977 College World Series, 10-7 in Omaha, NB. That was the first game of the 1977 College World Series for both teams. Murphy has a 1-0 record against Clemson. As Notre Dame’s head coach, he led the Irish to an 8-1 win over Clemson in the 1994 NCAA tournament at Clemson.
All Tournament Team:
First Base: Ben Paulsen, Clemson
Second Base: Mike Freeman, Clemson
Third Base: Tyrone Hambly, Oklahoma State
Shortstop: Tom Belza, Oklahoma State
Outfield: Wilson Boyd, Clemson
Outfield: Alex Henry, Tennessee Tech
Outfield: Michael Dabbs, Oklahoma State
Catcher: Vin DiFazio, Alabama
DH: Chris Epps, Clemson
Pitcher: Chris Dwyner, Clemson
Pitcher Tyler Lyons, Oklahoma State
Most Valuable Player: Chris Epps, Clemson
Audio: Clemson post game press conference (10:48)
(Jack Leggett, Kyle Parker, Matt Vaughn, Mike Freeman, Chris Epps)
Audio: Jack Leggett (4:28)
Audio: Kyle Parker (3:19)