June 4, 2004
Athens, GA –
Fueled by a six-run outburst in the second inning, Clemson outslugged Birmingham Southern 10-6 Friday in the NCAA Athens Regional at Foley Field.
The Tigers (37-24) trailed 2-0 going to the bottom of the first following Connor Robertson’s 20th home run of the season, a two-run shot off Tiger starter Robert Rohrbaugh. However, Clemson answered with a six-spot. Offensively, the Tigers were led by Travis Storrer (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI) and Lou Santangelo (2-for-5, 3 RBI), while Brad McCann drew a Clemson NCAA Tournament-record-tying four walks and hit a home run when BSC did pitch to him.
Tiger reliever Steven Jackson came on for Rohrbaugh in the third and picked up the win to move to 4-3 on the year. The right-hander allowed one run on three hits over 2.2 innings. He had just one walk and recorded five strikeouts.
Josh Cribb, Clemson’s third pitcher of the ninth, tossed four scoreless innnings with five strikeouts for the save.
“I was able to get in a comfort zone,” said Cribb. “Our offense is going to pick us up. I had to go out there and throw strikes. We knew they (BSC) liked to swing early so I wanted to throw a lot of first pitch strikes. My curveball and fastball were working well. “
BSC ace Wes Letson was lifted after five innings, allowing 10 runs on nine hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Letson dropped to 12-3 on the year. Adam Tucker enjoyed a solid night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a stolen base to lead BSC’s nine-hit attack.
The Panthers (46-17) now face Middle Tennessee State in an elimination game Saturday at 11 AM. Meanwhile, Clemson takes on Georgia in a winner’s bracket contest at 3 PM. Clemson will be the visiting team and occupy the first-base dugout. The Georgia-Clemson winner advances to the championship game Sunday, while the loser plays an elimination game at 7 PM Saturday against the winner of the BSC-MTSU early game.
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