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Archive for Saturday, June 15, 2002

College World Series: Clemson outslugs Nebraska

Baker’s single in ninth gives Tigers 11-10 first-round victory

June 15, 2002

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— Jeff Baker's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Clemson an 11-10 victory over Nebraska on Friday night in the opening round of the College World Series.

Baker's single to left-center was his only hit and drove in David Slevin, who led off the inning with the Tigers' 12th walk of the game.

Khalil Greene hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs and Zane Green also hit a three-run homer for the Tigers (53-15), who trailed by as many as five runs and didn't lead until the eighth inning.

Jed Morris hit a two-run homer and Will Bolt drove in two runs for Nebraska (47-20), which is one loss away from going 0-2 in the College World Series for the second straight year.

The Cornhuskers, who left 12 runners on base, will play South Carolina in an elimination game Sunday afternoon. Georgia Tech, which shut out the Gamecocks 11-0 earlier Friday, will play Clemson in a winner's bracket game later Sunday.

Nebraska and Clemson set a CWS record by using a combined 13 pitchers, breaking the mark of 12 Tennessee and Miami used a year ago in the Hurricanes' 21-13 win.

There were 21 walks and 21 hits in the game, which looked to be Nebraska's until the late innings.

Matt Henrie (13-4) retired Nebraska in order in the ninth and picked up the win in relief. He was Clemson's sixth pitcher of the game.

Phil Shirek (4-2), who walked Slevin to start the ninth, took the loss. Green bunted Slevin to second and Jeremy Becker intentionally walked Greene.

Jeff Blaesing came on for Nebraska and his second pitch was lined into the left-center gap for the game-winner. The game drew a crowd of 24,711, with the vast majority wearing the red and white of the Huskers.

Georgia Tech 11, South Carolina 0

Omaha native Kyle Bakker struck out nine in the first College World Series shutout in seven years.

Wes Rynders had a bases-loaded double and a solo homer to drive in three runs for the Yellow Jackets (52-14). Georgia Tech finished with 19 hits.

Bakker (13-2), a 6-foot-9 sophomore pitching about 20 minutes from his home in western Omaha, held the Gamecocks (53-17) to six hits and one walk and hit a batter. He was finally pulled for Brian Burks at the beginning of the ninth. Coach Danny Hall sent Bakker out to warm up so he could get a standing ovation from the scattered crowd.

Yaron Peters was 2-for-4 for South Carolina, which had not been shut out since losing to Mississippi State 1-0 in the SEC tournament last season.

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