June 20, 2006
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -David Cooper went 5-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs, including the go-ahead single in the eighth inning, in Cal State Fullerton’s 7-6 victory over top-seeded Clemson in the College World Series on Tuesday.
The fifth-seeded Titans (50-14) came from behind for the second straight game and will face North Carolina on Wednesday. Fullerton would have to beat the Tar Heels twice to win Bracket 1 and reach the best-of-three championship series this weekend.
The elimination of Clemson (53-16) means the No. 1 seed will not advance to the championship series for the sixth time in seven years.
Cooper became the 14th player in CWS history and the first since 1998 to have five hits in a game. His second homer of the season brought the Titans within 6-5 in the seventh, and his single with two out in the eighth produced the winning run.
Clemson loaded the bases in the seventh but failed to score. Stan Widmann singled and Fullerton starter Lauren Gagnier hit D.J. Mitchell with a pitch with two out. Adam Jorgenson (2-0) relieved and walked Adrian Casanova, but Herman Demmink grounded out to end the inning.
Tyler Harbin doubled leading off the Clemson ninth for his first hit in 12 CWS at-bats. That brought on Fullerton closer Ryan Paul, who had arrived at the ballpark in the seventh inning after feeling sick earlier in the day. Paul struck out Andy D’Alessio before being removed by coach George Horton.
Wes Roemer, Wednesday’s projected starter, came on and got Widmann to fly out and then struck out pinch-hitter Ben Hall to earn his first save.
Fullerton took the lead in the eighth after Danny Dorn’s two-out grounder bounced off pitcher Daniel Moskos’ leg and Widmann’s throw from short to first was late. That put runners at first and third.
Cooper then punched a blooper over second base that a diving Widmann couldn’t catch, allowing Blake Davis to score from third with the go-ahead run.
Clemson, which was three-hit Sunday by North Carolina’s Robert Woodard, had four hits in the first inning on Tuesday and came back to tie after Fullerton had scored three runs in the top half of the inning.
RBI singles by Demmink in the second and fourth and Marquez Smith’s run-scoring double put the Tigers up 6-3 in the fourth.
Clemson’s P.J. Zocchi pitched six shutout innings in relief of starter Jason Berken, who gave up three runs on four hits in one-third of an inning.
Zocchi left after Cooper’s homer in the seventh. Evan McArthur tied it for Fullerton with a run-scoring single off David Kopp (6-2).
Gagnier, tied with TCU’s Jake Arrieta for the national lead with 14 wins, had his worst outing since the season opener against Stanford when he allowed six runs in six innings. Before Tuesday, Gagnier hadn’t given up more than nine hits in a game this season. Clemson had 12 against him.
It was the second time the Titans had to come from behind to win. They used a three-run rally in the ninth inning Sunday to beat Georgia Tech.
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