Clemson defeated Auburn 5-2 Saturday night at Plainsman Park in Auburn and is now one win away from advancing to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will await the winner of tomorrow afternoon’s elimination game between Auburn and Southern Miss. That game is scheduled for a 2:00 PM Eastern Time start. The second game is scheduled for a 7:00 PM Eastern Time first pitch. Southern Miss stayed alive in the regional by defeating Jacksonville State Saturday afternoon 19-6.
Clemson press conference
(Jack Leggett, Casey Harman, Wilson Boyd)
For the second straight game Clemson jumped to the early lead scoring three runs in the first. Mike Freeman’s two run homer to right was the big blow. It was his 8th home run of the season. John Hinson had an RBI single in the inning.
Mike Freeman interview
Clemson added two more runs in the fourth Richie Shaffer doubled off the mini-Monster in left and scored on Wilson Boyd’s double into the gap in left center field. Boyd would score two batters later when Auburn third baseman Dan Gamache made a nice play on a hard hit ball by Will Lamb but threw wild to first.
Clemson lefthander Casey Harman retired eleven of the first thirteen batters he faced and did not give up a hit until the fifth when Tony Caldwell left off the inning with his 10th home run over the mini-Monster. Auburn’s other run also came on a solo home over the wall in left by Hunter Morris to lead off the ninth. It was his 22nd homer of the season. Caldwell followed with a single but was wiped up by Clemson’s second double play of the night, and Harman got Casey McElroy to fly out to right to end the game.
It was the first complete game of Harman’s career. He allowed just five hits and struck out eight to improve to 7-2. Grant Dayton took the loss to fall to 8-3.
Auburn press conference
(John Pawlowski, Grant Dayton)
Except for a dropped pop up by shortstop Brad Miller in the third, Clemson’s defense was again was stellar. There were the two double plays, and in the sixth, with a runner on first and two outs, centerfielder Wilson Boyd made a spectacular catch against the wall in centerfield to rob Brian Fletcher of extra bases and save a run.
Clemson is now 40-21 and one win away from advancing to a Super Regional for the second year in a row. Will Lamb will start on the mound for Clemson Sunday night.