Clemson rallies past ORU on ninth-inning grand slam

Updated: June 9, 2006, 7:20 PM ET
Associated Press

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.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press