May 28, 2000
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Clemson, SC–Ryan Riley knocked in five runs, while Patrick Boyd and Henri Stanley had four hits apiece, leading Clemson to a record setting 21-3 victory over Middle Tennessee in the championship of the Clemson Regional at Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers, who were a perfect 3-0 in the tournament, will now move on to the Super Regional against either Mississippi State or Notre Dame. Those two teams were to play Sunday night to determine Clemson’s opponent.
The site of the Super Regional will be announced by the NCAA on Monday afternoon.
Clemson increased its record to 48-16 with the victory, while Middle Tennessee fell to 39-23. It was Clemson’s 35th win at Kingsmore Stadium this year, setting a record for home wins in a season. The previous best was 34 home wins in 1996. The 48 wins for the season are the most for a Clemson team since 1996.
The 21 runs and 24 hits by Clemson were season highs. The 24 hits were the most ever for a Clemson team in an NCAA Tournament game. All nine of Clemson’s starters had recorded a hit by the fourth inning and 12 different players recorded hits for the game.
Boyd was 4 for 7 at the plate with three RBIs, while Stanley had four hits and scored a team best four runs. Stanley hit .625 for the tournament, best among all players. Riley, batting in the number-nine slot in the order, had a career best five runs batted in and scored three runs. Leadoff hitter Casey Stone, who was named the MVP of the regional, had two more hits and three runs batted in.
Clemson placed six players on the All-Tournament team. In addition to Stone, outfielder Ryan Riley, pitcher Ryan Mottl, designated hitter Henri Stanley and catcher Brian Ellis, all made the team.
It did not appear that Clemson would have an easy time of it early in the contest. Middle Tennessee, the number-four seed in the tournament, scored three runs in the bottom of the first and held a 3-1 lead. Middle Tennessee got three runs and five hits off Clemson starter Jarrod Schmidt, but the Tiger freshman settled down after that. For the game, Schmidt pitched six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits. Obviously, he allowed just three hits and no runs over his last five innings. Middle Tennessee did not score after the first inning.
Josh Renick led Middle Tennessee with three hits, while Kris Lammers and Jeff Parsons had two apiece. It was a good homecoming for Parsons, who once played for Clemson. He was chosen to the all-tournament team.
Clemson scored at least one run in each of the first seven innings, including five in the fifth, five in the sixth and six in the seventh. Clemson’s bottom three spots in the order combined for 11 runs and 12 hits on the day. The Tigers scored the 21 runs without a home run, as the win was blowing in at Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday.
The victory gives Clemson a perfect 4-0 record in regional championship games played in Clemson. The Tigers are now 17-7 in NCAA games played at Kingsmore Stadium over the years.
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