Tigers Throttle Pirates, Advance To Regional Championship

Tigers Throttle Pirates, Advance To Regional Championship

May 26, 2001

BoxScore Post Game Quotes

Clemson, SC – Jarrod Schmidt had three hits and drove in three runs at the plate, and allowed just three runs in five innings of pitching to earn the victory, leading Clemson to a 24-4 victory over Seton Hall in the winners bracket game of the Clemson Regional Saturday afternoon.

The second-seeded Tigers now advance to the Championship game on Sunday at 1:00 PM. That game had originally been scheduled for 2:00 PM, but was moved up to 1:00 PM due to the possibility of inclement weather in the Clemson area late Sunday afternoon. Seton Hall will meet South Alabama in the 7:00 PM elimination game on Saturday night. The winner of that 7:00 PM game will meet the Tigers Sunday.

The 24 runs scored by the Tigers tied a school record for runs in an NCAA Tournament game, quite an accomplishment considering Saturday’s game was the school’s 129th NCAA Tournament in history. Clemson also scored 24 runs in an NCAA game on June 5, 1959, a 24-2 victory over Florida State in a regional contest in Gastonia, NC. Clemson was still six runs short of the overall NCAA Tournament record of 30 runs scored by Arizona State in a victory over UNLV in 1978.

The 24 runs tied a season high for the Tigers, who had 24 runs in a win over New York Tech in April. The Tigers had a season high 23 hits and a season high 22 RBIs in registering their 40th victory of the season. It marks the 16th straight year that Clemson has reached the 40-win plateau. The Tigers are now 40-20 for the season. Seton Hall fell to 33-22-1.

Six different Tigers had at least three hits, led by senior outfielder Casey Stone, who had a four-for-four day at the plate. He had two doubles and scored four runs in the contest. Michael Johnson had a team best six RBIs in the game thanks to a single, double and a home run and scored four runs.

Ryan Riley added three hits and scored four runs, while Kyle Frank, Clemson’s number-eight man in the order, had five RBIs and three hits. Chad Coder added four RBIs and three hits.

Clemson also played well defensively, recording its second straight errorless game in the NCAA Tournament and 20th errorless game this season.

Clemson jumped out to a three-run lead in the top of the first inning. Riley and Stone set the table with singles to lead off the game. Two outs later Michael Johnson set the tone for the day with a three-run homer to the opposite (left) field. It was the second home run of the tournament for Johnson and his 16th of the year. He now has five home runs in his last seven games after going 14 straight games without a homer.

Clemson added six more runs in the third. Riley led off the inning with a home run to left field, his sixth of the year, but his first since March 25th. Later in the inning, Kyle Frank homered to right, his first career home run in 283 at bats as a Clemson player. The Tigers added five runs on six hits in the fourth inning, including a two-run single by Frank. Clemson scored six more in the fifth as 11 Tigers came to the plate. Schmidt had a double to right to drive in two runs in that inning.

On the mound, Schmidt shut down the Pirates over the first four innings on just one hit. He allowed a three-run homer to Joe Guervo in the fifth, but those were the only runs he allowed in the game.

The Pirates added another run in the sixth off reliever Ryan Childs. Schmidt improved his record to 7-3 for the year. He has not suffered a loss since losing to Georgia on March 28th. He is now 2-0 in NCAA play over his career. In his two victories the Tigers have scored a combined 45 runs. He was the benefactor of Clemson’s 21-3 victory over Middle Tennessee State last year.

Post Game Quotes

Winning Coach (JackLeggett, Clemson) “We pitched well today. Jarrod Schmidtdid a nice job on the mound. Again, we played well defensively. Ithink we’ve played two ball games in a row without making an error.We’re playing good defense right now, which is the key to oursuccess. It was nice to see us break out today and swing the batsvery well. We got more production from Kyle Frank, Ryan Riley. Thatmakes the difference in our team. And of course plugging CaseyStone back in there to come up with four hits. It’s good to see himback, he gives us a lift. We’re peaking offensively at the righttime or at least swinging the bats a lot more confidently at theright time.”

“We tried to do the best we could to play everybody today. We got everybody in the ball game in the fifth inning. It was good to see those guys get some regional experience.”

“We had some good innings in the middle of the ball game. We were hot offensively at the time. We were taking care of business, swinging the bats aggressively. We were getting on base, getting big hits, and taking advantage of any mistakes that they made. I was really pleased with how we played offensively this game. If we continue to play like that in the batters box and continue to play aggressively while we’re on the bases like we have been, then we’re a pretty good baseball team.”

Losing Coach (Rob Sheppard, Seton Hall) “There is not a whole to say about this one. Clemson was very good today and they really have shown themselves to be the cream of the crop in this regional so far. They pitched and hit very well, and we did not play very good baseball today. My hats off to them for they way the broke out offensively and the way they played as a team.”

“We were coming off a high yesterday with our win in the first game so that makes this an even tougher loss. That is the beauty about baseball though. We now have a chance to come out for another nine innings and try to it all again.”