May 25, 2001
BoxScore Post Game Quotes
Clemson, SC – Steve Reba won his fourth straight start, while Michael Johnson, Jarrod Schmidt and Chad Coder provided enough offense to lead #2 seed Clemson to a 4-1 victory over #3 seed William & Mary in the first round of the Clemson Regional of the NCAA baseball tournament at Kingsmore Stadium.
Clemson now advances to meet Seton Hall on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 PM in the winners bracket game. South Alabama, the #1 seed in the regional, will play William & Mary Saturday morning at 11:00 AM. There will be a third game Saturday at 7:00 PM, a contest between the winner of the 11:00 AM game and the loser of the 3:00 PM contest.
Clemson improved to 39-20 for the season, while William & Mary dropped to 35-19. Clemson will attempt to reach the 40-win mark on Saturday, a plateau the Tigers have reached every year since 1986.
Clemson won its sixth straight NCAA Tournament game at home over two years thanks to Reba’s outstanding pitching. The junior from Fort Wayne, IN allowed just four hits in registering the complete game victory. He struck out eight and walked just one. He had a shutout going until William & Mary scored a run in the top of the ninth.
Reba, who was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball earlier in the day, improved to 11-3 for the season and 20-7 for his career. It was his second complete game of the year. His other complete game was a three-hit shutout of Georgia Tech on April 20. He is now a perfect 4-0 in the month of May.
Clemson was led at the plate by Michael Johnson, who had a home run and a single, Jarrod Schmidt, who had two hits and reached when he was hit by a pitch, and Chad Coder, who had a two-run single in he eighth inning.
William & Mary got an outstanding pitching performance from starter Whitt Farr, who went 7 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs and struck out five, as his record dropped to 9-6 for the season.
Clemson opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. With one out, first baseman Michael Johnson socked his 15th home run of the year, a long drive over the 375 marker in right center field.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Tigers through five innings. At one point, between the third and sixth innings, the starting pitchers set down 21 batters in succession between them. Farr was masterful for the Tribe, while Reba did not allow a ball hit out of the infield during one 13-batter stretch.
Clemson got another run on the board in the bottom of the sixth. With two out, Khalil Greene hit a line drive to left field. Marshall Hubbard misplayed the ball in left field for just his second error of the season and it allowed Greene to reach second. One batter later he scored on a single by Schmidt, Clemson’s DH on Friday and the probable starting pitcher against Seton Hall on Saturday.
Clemson held the 2-0 lead until the eighth. With two out, Johnson singled to left. He then stole second, one of four steals for the Tigers on the night. A single by Schmidt moved Johnson to third. With a 2-2 count, Chad Coder then singled off relief pitcher Ben Shepard to score two important insurance runs.
Reba gave up his only run in the top of the ninth. Michael Brown led off with a double. One out later Brenden Harris, the schools career leader in homers and RBIs, singled to left to score the run and ruin Reba’s shutout.
Clemson was outstanding in the field. The Tigers, who lead the ACC in fielding, did not commit an error for the 19th time this year. The defensive play was led by Khalil Greene, who made an outstanding stab of a high hopping ball at shortstop off Trey Wakefield’s bat in the top of the ninth. He recovered to throw out Harris at second base.
Winning Coach (Jack Leggett, Clemson) “I thought it was a very well-played game by us pitching and defensively. I thought Steve Reba did a tremendous job pitching. We always play pretty good defense behind him. Today we played very well defensively and we got a few big hits along the way. Jarrod Schmidt hit was a big one to put us up 2-0. Michael Johnson’s homerun to break the ice and make it 1-0 was big.”
“I felt good about how we played. I thought the bench was into it. The intensity was there and the focus on what we have to do in this tournament was there. I hope we’ll be ready to play tomorrow against a very scrappy and tough Seton Hall team.”
Losing Coach (Jim Farr, William and Mary)
“Steve Reba pitched a heck of a game here tonight. He kept off balance all night long and he really did a tremendous job. The first time through the lineup I told our guys to stay off the breaking ball s early in the count, but he was able to locate them for strikes and he forced us to swing at them. We were able to slow him down a little bit the second time through the lineup but he made some very good adjustments with his pitches. We are a very good fastball hitting team and his breaking ball was really difficult for our guys to hit tonight.”
‘We have to Clemson all the credit tonight. They played very well, and even though we were able to keep the game close with our pitching, they did what they had to do to win the game. We now just have to bounce back and get ready to play again tomorrow.”
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