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Clemson rallies past ORU on ninth-inning grand slam

6/9/2006

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Tyler Colvin's ninth-inning grand slam
rallied top-seeded Clemson to an 11-8 victory over Oral Roberts and
moved the Tigers a game from the College World Series.
The Golden Eagles (41-15) scored three runs in the top of the
ninth to take a 8-7 lead. But the Tigers (51-14), who have won 23
of their past 24 games, were far from done.
With one out, Herman Demmink singled up the middle, Brad Chalk
beat out a bunt and Marquez Smith grounded a shot deep in the hole
at short for Clemson's third straight hit off reliever Sean Jarrett
(7-2).
That's when Colvin, picked by the Chicago Cubs 13th overall in
this week's major league draft, sent his 13th homer into right
field.
Clemson's players leaped from the dugout and rushed Colvin as he
touched home plate.
Colvin's eighth-inning single had let him extend his hitting
streak to 24 games.
One more victory in the best-of-3 series would put Clemson into
the CWS for the first time since 2002.
Clemson's closer, Daniel Moskos (5-5), picked up the victory
despite giving up all three ninth-inning runs to Oral Roberts.
D.J. Mitchell had three run-scoring hits, Taylor Harbin his
third homer in four NCAA tournament games and Demmink led off with
a homer for the second straight contest for the Tigers.
Oral Roberts, in its first NCAA super regional, put an early
scare into the Tigers and their orange-clad fans at Doug Kingsmore
Stadium.
Travis DeBondt's three-run homer in the second, his third of the
season, put the Golden Eagles ahead 4-1 and ended the outing of one
of Clemson's strongest starters, Jason Berken.
The Tigers, though, chipped their way back in the game off two
of Oral Roberts' best in pitchers Nick Jones and Erik Crichton.
Harbin led off the second inning with a home run and Mitchell
had RBI hits in the fourth and sixth innings, both that tied things
up for the Tigers.
Jones lasted less than three innings, his shortest outing of the
season. Crichton gave up three runs after not allowing any in his
previous five appearances.
When Mitchell's final hit made it 7-5, it appeared Clemson was
out of danger.
But Oral Roberts fought back in the ninth. Chad Rothford's soft
single along the leftfield line capped the Golden Eagles' three-run
rally and put them ahead 8-7.