Baseball Set to Take on Oral Roberts in Best-of-Three

Baseball Set to Take on Oral Roberts in Best-of-Three

June 8, 2006

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Clemson (50-14), the #1 national seed and ranked as high as #2 in the nation, will play host to #14 Oral Roberts (41-14) in the Clemson (SC) Super Regional beginning Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Friday’s game will start at 3:00 PM EDT (ESPN) and Saturday’s game will start at 4:00 PM EDT (ESPNU), while Sunday’s game (if necessary) will start at 7:00 PM EDT (ESPN2/ESPNU).

Clemson will be the designated home team (third-base dugout) in game one and the visiting team (first-base dugout) in game two. A coin flip will determine the home team for a potential game three.

The winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, NE from June 16-26. The winner of the Clemson Super Regional will face the winner of the Atlanta (GA) Super Regional in the opening round in Omaha on June 16. Georgia Tech will play host to College of Charleston in the Atlanta Super Regional.

All of Clemson’s super regional games will be broadcast live on the radio by the Clemson Tiger Sports Network. Live stats will also be available for all of the Tigers’ super regional games via the internet at

ESPN to Televise Super Regional Games For the first time in history, ESPN will televise a Clemson baseball game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium when the Tigers face Oral Roberts in the Clemson Super Regional this weekend. Game one on Friday (3:00 PM EDT) will be on ESPN, while game two on Saturday (4:00 PM EDT) will be on ESPNU. Sunday’s game (7:00 PM EDT) (if necessary) will be on ESPN2/ESPNU.

Dave Cohen and Kyle Peterson will be ESPN’s announcers for the super regional. Ironically, Peterson pitched a complete game as a freshman for Stanford in an 8-3 victory over Clemson in the 1995 College World Series. He allowed eight hits, three runs, and no walks with seven strikeouts to improve to 14-1 that season.

Clemson Super Regional Host for Third Time Clemson is one of eight schools to play host to an NCAA Super Regional for the 60th-annual Division I Baseball Championship. The action will begin at Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday against Oral Roberts. The two teams will match up again Saturday, and a game will be played on Sunday if the two teams split the first two games.

Clemson was one of two ACC schools chosen to host a super regional. The other ACC school is Georgia Tech, who will play host to College of Charleston. Miami (FL) and North Carolina will also play in the super-regional round. The Hurricanes will play at Mississippi, while the Tar Heels will play at Alabama. Both the ACC and SEC have four schools represented in the super regionals. No other conference has more than two schools represented. There are only two super regionals that feature two #1 seeds from the regional round.

This is the third time since the super-regional format began in 1999 that Clemson has played host to a super regional. It is also the sixth time in the eight years of super-regional play that the Tigers have made it to this round. Only two schools (Miami (FL) (8), Florida State (7)) have played in more super regionals.

Clemson has advanced to Omaha in both previous years (2000,02) that it hosted a super regional. In 1999 (College Station (TX)), 2001 (Coral Gables (FL)), and 2005 (Waco (TX)), the Tigers played in a super regional on the road, but failed to advance to Omaha.

The Tigers are 33-7 all-time in home NCAA Tournament games, including a 30-5 record under Head Coach Doug Kingsmore Stadium in the 21st Century, with the only loss coming in a super regional game against Arkansas in 2002.

This is Clemson’s 20th consecutive year in the NCAA Tournament, the third-longest active streak in the nation. Miami (FL) and Florida State, also from the ACC, are the only other schools with longer active streaks. Overall, this will be Clemson’s 32nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the sixth-most appearances in NCAA history. Texas is the all-time leader, as the Longhorns made their 50th appearance this year.

Tigers to Play in Sixth Super Regional Clemson will be making its sixth super regional appearance in the eighth year of the super regional format. Only two teams (Miami (FL), Florida State) will have played in more. The Tigers played in the College Station (TX) Super Regional in 1999, falling in game three. In 2000 and 2002, Clemson won its own super regional to advance to Omaha. In 2001, the Tigers lost both games at Miami (FL), while in 2005, Baylor defeated the Tigers twice in three games.

The Tigers Top-seed and #2-ranked Clemson (50-14) enters the super regional coming off the ACC Tournament title, going 4-1 in five games to capture the championship, and the Clemson Regional title, as it went 3-0. Clemson was 24-6 during the ACC regular season, finishing in first place in both the Atlantic Division and overall standings. The 24 victories set a school and league record for most conference wins. Clemson is making its 20th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

The Tigers, who are 34-5 at home, are led by 13th-year Head Coach Jack Leggett. His 555 wins through the first 12 seasons is the sixth-most in college baseball during his tenure. Clemson has won 22 of its last 23 games. The Tigers are also 23-7 against top-25 ranked teams in 2006.

The team is hitting .306 and is led by Tyler Colvin, who is hitting .359 with 22 doubles, five triples, 12 homers, 65 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases along with a current 23-game hitting streak, the fifth-longest in school history. Brad Chalk is hitting .358 with a .474 on-base percentage, while Andy D’Alessio is hitting .321 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs.

The pitching staff has a 3.18 ERA and .240 opponents’ batting average. The starting weekend rotation of Jason Berken, Stephen Faris, and Josh Cribb have combined for a 27-5 record and 2.71 ERA in 48 appearances (47 starts). Daniel Moskos has a team-best 10 saves along with a 2.19 ERA in 30 relief appearances. Clemson is fielding at a .972 clip as well, ahead of the school record of .971 (2002).

The Golden Eagles Oral Roberts (41-14), ranked as high as #14 in the nation, enters the Clemson Super Regional after winning the Fayetteville (AR) Regional with a 3-0 record, including wins over host Arkansas and Oklahoma State. The Golden Eagles of Tulsa, OK defeated the Razorbacks in game one 4-3, then beat the Cowboys twice by scores of 5-4 and 9-2.

The Golden Eagles, who are 14-8 on opponents’ home fields, had a 17-2 Mid-Continent Conference record and won their tournament title for the ninth-straight year. The 2006 season marks their 18th NCAA Tournament appearance and first in a super regional.

Oral Roberts is led by third-year Head Coach Rob Walton, who has a 133-45 (.747) record with the Golden Eagle program. They have won 31 of their last 34 games after starting the season 10-11. Oral Roberts has also won 11 games in a row and 22 of its last 23 games. The team also won their last 14 games at home. Clemson has also won 14 games in a row at home, as both Oral Roberts and Clemson are tied for the national lead for the longest current home winning streak.

Twenty-three of their 55 games this season have been against teams that made the 2006 NCAA Tournament. They have a 13-10 record in those 23 games. Oral Roberts is 9-4 in one-run games and 4-0 in extra-inning contests. The team is also 24-0 when leading after seven innings and 26-0 when leading after eight innings.

The team is hitting .327 with a .419 on-base percentage and 40 stolen bases in 56 attempts. Oral Roberts is averaging 8.0 runs per game, and has totaled 132 doubles, 15 triples, and 57 home runs. The team has also drawn 243 walks and 82 hit-by-pitches, and has 52 sacrifice bunts. Oral Roberts sports an outstanding .972 fielding percentage as well.

Andy Bouchie leads the club with a .377 batting average along with 12 homers and 53 RBIs. Brendan Duffy is hitting .363 with 14 stolen bases, while Chad Rothford is hitting .337 with 12 homers and 60 RBIs. Tim Torres also has 10 homers and 38 RBIs along with 12 stolen bases.

The pitching staff has a 3.47 ERA and .247 opponents’ batting average. The staff has also allowed just 47 doubles in 55 games and has a 2.22 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The team has only one lefthander (Taylor McIntyre) on its super regional roster as well.

Chris Ashman is 10-1 with a 2.02 ERA and .228 opponents’ batting average in 93.1 innings pitched. Sean Jarrett has seven of the team’s nine saves and a 7-1 record in 22 appearances (five starts). In 59.0 innings pitched, Jarrett has allowed just nine walks with 70 strikeouts.

Ten of Oral Roberts’ 25 players on its super regional roster were on the roster during the 2005 Clemson Regional. Those 10 players are Brian Aguailar, Ashman, Taylor DeBondt, Kenny Evoniuk, Daniel Greenwalt, Nick Jones, McIntyre, Kelly Minissale, John Robison, and Torres. Junior outfielder Pat Warfle was a teammate of both Ben Hall and Marquez Smith and Daytona Beach Community College as well.

Tigers vs. Golden Eagles Clemson and Oral Roberts have met just once on the baseball diamond. That one time came in the 2005 Clemson (SC) Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Golden Eagles by a score of 8-3 to capture the regional title.

Andy D’Alessio was the Tigers’ leading hitter, as he was 3-for-3 with a double, home run, and three RBIs. Kris Harvey added two solo home runs. Clemson was aided by three double plays as well.

Oral Roberts, who out-hit the Tigers 11-10, was led at the plate by Kelly Minissale, Dennis Bigley, Tim Torres, and Jon Tackets, who all had two hits apiece. Michael Hollimon hit a solo homer as well.

The Starting Pitchers In game one, Oral Roberts will start senior righthander Nick Jones (7-4, 3.67 ERA) on the mound. The Broken Arrow, OK native has made 14 starts and has four complete games (88.1 innings pitched). He has allowed 87 hits and 29 walks with 88 strikeouts.

Clemson will counter with junior righthander Jason Berken (9-3, 2.72 ERA) on Friday. The De Pere, WI native has made 16 starts for a total of 79.1 innings pitched. He has allowed 78 hits and 32 walks with 74 strikeouts.

In game two, the Golden Eagles will send out junior righty Chris Ashman (10-1, 2.02 ERA) on the mound. The Hemet, CA native has made 10 starts and eight relief appearances for a total of 93.1 innings pitched (team-high). He has three complete games, including one shutout, and a save. He has yielded 78 hits (.228 opponents’ batting average) and 24 walks with 72 strikeouts.

The Tigers will counter with junior righthander Stephen Faris (9-2, 2.34 ERA) on Saturday. The Richmond, VA native had made 16 starts for a total of 92.1 innings pitched. He has a .198 opponents’ batting average, allowing 64 hits and 16 walks with 78 strikeouts. Starters for a potential game three on Sunday have not been determined.

Polls Clemson remained at #3 in the Baseball America poll on Tuesday after winning the Clemson (SC) Regional title from June 2-4. The Tigers also stayed at #3 in the Collegiate Baseball poll and #2 in the Sports Weekly poll.

The Tigers’ #1 ranking by Baseball America on February 6, which Clemson held on to for a total of four weeks, was their first since May 13, 2002, when Clemson was ranked #1 in all three major polls. It was the earliest #1 ranking for the Clemson program in history, as the earliest #1 ranking prior to that was on March 20, 2000, when Collegiate Baseball had the Tigers #1. The Tigers have been ranked #1 for 19 weeks by at least one of the major polls in Head Coach Jack Leggett’s 13 seasons at Clemson.

Seven Named Clemson Regional All-Tourney Seven Tigers were named to the Clemson Regional All-Tournament team, as the Tigers captured the title by going 3-0 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium from June 2-4. The entire Tiger infield was represented, including first-baseman Tyler Colvin and Brad Chalk, and pitcher Sean Clark also made the 11-player team. Harbin was named Clemson Regional MVP after going 5-for-9 with a double, two homers, seven RBIs, and four stolen bases in three games.

50-Win Season For the first time since 2002, Clemson reached the 50-win mark in 2006. It is the 11th time in school history and sixth time in 13 seasons under Head Coach Jack Leggett that Clemson reached the 50-win plateau. Each of the last four times the Tigers have won 50 games entering 2006, they have made it to the College World Series.

All-America Tigers Graduate righthander Andy D’Alessio were named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-America team on June 2. Cribb, who is 9-0 with a 3.09 ERA and a .222 opponents’ batting average in 87.1 innings pitched, was named to the second team. D’Alessio, who is hitting .321 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs, was named to the third team. D’Alessio was also named a first-team All-American by College Baseball Foundation.

Record 10 Tigers Picked in MLB Draft Ten Tigers, highlighted by outfielder Tyler Colvin selection in the first round, were taken in the Major League Draft on June 6,7, 2006. The 10 selections set a school record for most Tigers drafted in one year. The previous mark was nine set by the 2004 club.

Colvin, who was undrafted out of North Augusta (SC) High School, was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 13th pick overall, which tied for the third-highest selection by a Tiger in school history.

Five pitchers were selected on day one, including junior righthander Jason Berken in the sixth round by the Baltimore Orioles, graduate righty Stephen Faris in the 12th round by the San Diego Padres, and senior righty Drew Fiorenza in the 15th round by the Seattle Mariners.

Junior first-baseman Andy D’Alessio was selected in the 10th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On day two, three Tigers were drafted, including senior third-baseman Marquez Smith in the 35th round by the Chicago Cubs, and senior catcher Adrian Casanova in the 40th round by the Detroit Tigers.

Clemson’s 10 picks were second-most in the nation, trailing only UCLA’s total of 12. Cal. State-Fullerton, Oklahoma, Oregon State, and San Diego State all had nine players drafted, while Nebraska and N.C. State had eight players taken.

With the 10 selections, Jack Leggett has had a total of 62 players drafted in his 13 seasons as head coach at Clemson. Ten of those 62 players were drafted twice, meaning a Tiger has been drafted 72 times in his tenure. Thirteen more Tigers have signed free-agent contracts as well.

Colvin Taken in First Round By Cubs Junior outfielder Tyler Colvin (North Augusta, SC) was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago Cubs on June 6. The native of North Augusta, SC was the 13th overall selection of the entire draft, the third non-pitcher from college baseball, and the second outfielder taken. Drew Stubbs of Texas (eighth pick to Cincinnati) was the only college outfielder taken ahead of Colvin.

Colvin leads the Tigers in batting average (.359), hits (93), doubles (22), total bases (161), and stolen bases (23). He is on pace to join Khalil Greene (2002) as the first Tigers to lead the team in total bases and stolen bases in the same year since 1992. He enters the NCAA Tournament with a 23-game hitting streak, the fifth-longest in Clemson history, and the longest since Greene had a 34-game streak in 2002.

Colvin has something else in common with Greene, and that is his draft position. Greene, currently the starting shortstop with the San Diego Padres, was the #13 selection of the entire draft in June of 2002. In fact, Colvin is the fourth different Tiger taken with the #13 selection of the Major League Draft. Mike Paradis, a pitcher on Clemson’s 1999 team, was the #13 selection in the first round by the Baltimore Orioles, and Bill Spiers was the #13 selection by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987. Both Colvin and Greene were both undrafted out of high school as well.

Overall, Colvin’s #13 selection ties for the third-highest draft pick in Clemson baseball history. Kris Benson was the #1 pick of the draft in 1996 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while teammate and fellow righthander Billy Koch was the #4 selection that year (Toronto Blue Jays).

Colvin is the first Clemson player drafted by the Chicago Cubs since Zane Green was a 44th-round pick in 2004. Only two former Tigers have played in a Major League game for the Cubs, including Norm McMillan in 1928,29 and Kurt Seibert in 1979.

Colvin Riding a 23-Game Hitting Streak Tyler Colvin is riding a 23-game hitting streak entering the super regional against Oral Roberts. During the streak, he is 44-for-101 (.436) with 23 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples, five homers, 32 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases in leading Clemson to a 22-1 record during that span. He is also hitting an incredible .472 against lefthanders and .479 with runners in scoring position in the last 23 games.

His 23-game hitting streak is the fifth-longest in Clemson history and the longest since Khalil Greene 34-game hitting streak in 2002. The school and ACC record is 41 games, set by Rusty Adkins from 1965 to 1966.

D’Alessio Moving Up Home Run, RBI Charts A year after Andy D’Alessio has provided the big bat in the Tiger lineup in 2006 with 22 long balls. That figure is eighth-most in a season in school history. He also has 41 career home runs, ninth-most in Tiger history. D’Alessio has driven in 80 runs as well. That total is tied for sixth-most in Clemson history.

Double Dose of D’Alessio Andy D’Alessio home runs have come in bunches this year. In the three-game series at Duke on May 8,9, he had two, two-homer games. He has gone deep twice in a game on six occasions this season, therefore 12 of his 22 home runs, or 55 percent, have come in multi-homer games. The six multi-homer games in a season is most ever by a Tiger in history. Jeff Baker, who previously held the school record, had five multi-homer games in two different seasons (2001,02). D’Alessio had two, two-homer games in 2005, and has eight in his career.

Harbin Named Clemson Regional MVP Doug Kingsmore Stadium from June 2-4. He was 5-for-9 (.556) with a double, two homers, seven RBIs, and four stolen bases in three games. He also made several highlight plays at second base during the tourney.

Faris Fairing Well of Late When #10 Georgia Tech and Boston College pounded Stephen Faris in April to the tune of nine runs in 2.1 combined innings pitched, Head Coach Jack Leggett gave the junior righthander a start the following Wednesday in a non-conference game against Wofford. He responded by pitched 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts to earn the win. He did not pitch against Virginia Tech that weekend, but a week later, he was inserted back into the weekend rotation. Since then, he has been outstanding.

Including the start against Wofford and his five starts since, he is 5-0 with a 1.16 ERA and .142 opponents’ batting average. In 38.2 innings pitched, he has allowed just 18 hits, including only four extra-base hits, and four walks with 34 strikeouts.

Tigers Capture Clemson Regional Title The Tigers won the Clemson Regional title by going 3-0 from June 2-4 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Clemson defeated each of the other three teams once, as it outscored them 24-9 in three games. Clemson hit .323 with a .410 on-base percentage and nine stolen bases. The team also hit eight doubles, a triple, and six home runs, and committed just two errors in the field. The pitching staff had a 3.00 ERA and .170 opponents’ batting average. It allowed just two extra-base hits as well.

Brad Chalk was 5-for-10, while Stan Widmann was 6-for-13 (.462) with two doubles, a homer, and four RBIs.

In the first round of the regional, Clemson blanked North Carolina-Asheville 3-0 on June 2. The game was suspended in the middle of the first inning due to inclement weather and was completed on June 3. Widmann hit a two-run homer in the second inning and Tyler Colvin drove in the other run with an infield single in the third inning. Sean Clark pitched the final 8.0 innings, allowing three hits, no runs, and two walks with six strikeouts to earn the win. The game lasted just 114 minutes thanks to only three hits by the Bulldogs and six by the Tigers.

In the winners’ bracket game of the regional, Clemson defeated Elon 13-3 on June 3. Harbin and Andy D’Alessio hit back-to-back home runs in both the first and third innings. It was the first time in recorded history that the same pair of Tigers went deep back-to-back twice in a game. Harbin’s three-run homer in the first was part of a five-run first inning. The Tigers put the game away with five runs in the sixth inning. Harbin totaled a game-high four RBIs, while Stephen Faris picked up the win by pitching 8.0 innings, allowing five hits, three runs, and no walks with seven strikeouts. Faris and Steve Richard combined to allow just six hits.

In the championship game, Clemson rallied from a 5-4 deficit to defeat Mississippi State 8-6 and capture the Clemson Regional title on June 4. The Tigers scored three runs in the first inning, highlighted by Daniel Moskos faced the minimum in the final 2.2 innings pitched with three strikeouts to record the save. Four Tiger pitchers combined to walk six batters, but they only allowed seven hits, all singles. The game was delayed over two hours due to inclement weather, and did not end until 12:30 AM.