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#4 Tennessee Tech 6, #2 Alabama 2

May 30, 2009

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Sidelined the past two seasons with a back injury, Michael Alcorn carried the load Saturday as No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech knocked off No. 2 seed Alabama 6-2 in an elimination game at the Clemson Regional.

The Golden Eagles (31-23-1) advance to play Saturday night’s Clemson-Oklahoma State loser on Sunday. The Crimson Tide (37-21) finished the season with a four-game losing streak.

Alcorn (3-3) pitched a complete game, scattering nine hits with six strikeouts and four walks. He threw 129 pitches in only his third complete game of the season.

“If I start something I like to finish it,” said Alcorn, who entered the game with a 5.91 earned-run average. “I was just locating pitches better today. If I can get my off-speed stuff over the plate, it sets up everything else.”

Tech broke open a tight game with three runs in the seventh after Alabama had the potential tying run thrown out at the plate in the top of the inning.

Despite his high pitch count, Alcorn never failed to give Tech coach Matt Bragga a thumbs-up sign – his sign that he wants to stay in a game – while leaving the mound between innings.

“If he gives me that thumbs-up, I’m leaving him in there,” Bragga said. “Matt Alcorn was just phenomenal.”

Alcorn used a heavy assortment of off-speed pitches to set up his fastball and keep Tide hitters off-balance.

“He kept the ball down and away,” said Tide second baseman Ross Wilson. “He didn’t really miss on anyone all day.”

Adam Morgan (4-2) gave up six runs in six innings for the Tide.

Tech took the lead for good at 2-1 in the second inning on Chad Hayes’ two-run single.

Alabama pulled to within 3-2 with a run in the seventh. But the threat ended when Brandon May was thrown out trying to score from second on Del Howell’s infield single. Hayes fumbled the hard-hit ball to his left, but got up and threw on-target to catcher Cory Wright.

Tech’s three runs in the seventh came on four hits with the help of a throwing error by Morgan trying to cut down a runner at third on a bunt.

Chad Oberacker had three hits for the Golden Eagles, who showed no signs of a letdown after the tough loss the night before.

The Tide, which hit 107 home runs during the season, did not hit a home run in their two regional games.