Story by Pat Daniel:
The Crimson Tide enjoyed a 1-0 lead for less than 5 minutes as the Clemson bats were still red hot today after last night’s performance. John Hinson hit a 2-run HR in the top of the 2nd, and the Tigers tallied 2 runs apiece in each of the next 2 innings, jumping out to a commanding 6-1 lead. Every Tiger starter had at least 1 hit for the game, and was led by first-baseman Richie Shaffer’s 2 HR and 3 RBI. The Tigers added two more insurance runs in the 7th when Shaffer hit his 2nd homer, giving them an 8-1 lead.
This was more than enough as Dominic Leone finished the game with stats of 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 strikeouts, and 1 walk on 75 pitches, 50 of which were strikes.
The Tiger bullpen was strong until the 9th, when things got dicey. Kevin Brady allowed a 2 run homer to Brett Booth, and Tomas Cruz walked in another run. The third error of the game on SS Brad Miller brought in two more runs bringing the score to 8-6. Finally, Jake Smith popped up to left to end the game, and a dog pile ensued at the mound in front of a crowd of 5,250.
Clemson press conference:
(Jack Leggett, Richie Shaffer, John Hinson, Dominic Leone)
Alabama expected great pitching today from starter Nathan Kilcrease, but he could not find his rhythm, lasting 5 innings while allowing 6 ER on 11 hits with 2 walks and 1 strikeout. He threw 100 pitches, 57 of which were strikes. The Crimson Tide bullpen allowed two more runs, and combined allowed the Tigers to have 16 hits for the game. Alabama stranded 10 base-runners, unable to find timely hits until the end.
Alabama finishes their season at 42-25, with head coach Mitch Gispard tying the Alabama record for wins by a first year coach.
Clemson improves their record to 43-23 and moves on to face Arizona State in the opening round of the College World Series.