Category archive: Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

CLEMSON, S.C. -- It appears Clemson and Oklahoma State are headed for a winner-take-all game Monday night in the Clemson Regional.

The Tigers, the region's top seed, have added four more runs to take a 8-0 lead in the third inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Second baseman Mike Freeman hit a solo homer in the second, and then catcher John Nester, center fielder Addison Johnson and DH Chris Epps added RBI hits in the third.

The No. 3-seeded Pokes used four pitchers in the first three innings, after starter Tyler Blandford gave up five runs in only 1 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

CLEMSON, S.C. -- There might be baseball at Clemson on Monday night.

The top-seeded Tigers are jumping all over Oklahoma State starter Tyler Blandford, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. Each of Clemson's first three hitters reached base, and the Tigers sent nine players to the plate before Blandford struck out No. 9 hitter Jason Stolz for the third out.

Right fielder Wilson Boyd delivered the big blow with a two-run double to left-center to make it 3-0. Second baseman Mike Freeman and shortstop Brad Miller also had run-scoring singles.

We'll see if Clemson starter Chris Dwyer fares any better when the Pokes come to bat.

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Here are the lineups for tonight's Clemson Region game between top seed Clemson and No. 3 seed Oklahoma State:

Clemson (42-20)
DH Chris Epps
2B Mike Freeman
LF Jeff Schaus
1B Ben Paulsen
RF Wilson Boyd
SS Brad Miller
C John Nester
CF Addison Johnson
3B Jason Stolz

LHP Chris Dwyer

Oklahoma State (34-22)
CF Micheal Dabbs
3B Tyrone Hambly
LF Neil Medchill
C Kevin David
SS Tom Belza
DH Mark Ginther
2B Davis Duren
RF Doug Kroll
1B Dean Green

RHP Tyler Blandford

CLEMSON, S.C. --Top seed Clemson lived to play at least one more game at the NCAA region at its home field, blasting No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech 10-0 in an elimination game at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday.

The Tigers advanced to play No. 3 seed Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. ET. The upstart Pokes beat Clemson 3-2 on Saturday night.

Clemson will have to beat OSU twice -- tonight and Monday night, if needed -- to advance to next week's Super Regional.

The Tigers saved their bullpen in the rout of the Golden Eagles, as freshman Scott Weismann allowed only four hits and three walks in eight innings. Freshman David Haselden was perfect in the ninth in his only inning of work.

Tigers coach Jack Leggett gambled in saving starting pitcher Chris Dwyer (4-5, 5.30 ERA) to face the Pokes. Dwyer, a left-handed freshman from Swampscott, Mass., was the only Tigers pitcher to serve as a weekend starter the entire season. But he hasn't won since throwing a complete game in a 9-1 victory May 11, and was handed a loss in three of his last six starts.

After throwing the complete game against the Hurricanes, Dwyer didn't last at least six innings in his next six starts. He allowed six runs in his last start, a 10-4 loss against Duke in the ACC tournament on May 22.

The Pokes will start right-handed junior Tyler Blandford (7-3, 4.83), who gave up at least five runs in four of his last five starts.

Tigers push lead to 8-0 in fourth

May, 31, 2009
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson extended its lead over Tennessee Tech to 8-0 with three more runs in the fourth inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

After Golden Eagles reliever Lee Henry struck out the first two Clemson hitters in the fourth, designated hitter Chris Epps hit a solo homer to right. The ball landed near the tailgating area behind the right-field wall, which locals call the "Cajun Cafe."

Second baseman Mike Freeman hit a double to left, and Henry walked Jeff Schaus. First baseman Ben Paulsen knocked in Freeman with a hard two-out single to right, and then center fielder Wilson Boyd knocked in Schaus with another single to right to make it 8-0.

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson is starting to pull away from Tennessee Tech, scoring four times in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead in an elimination game of the Clemson Region.

The Tigers' big blow came on first baseman Ben Paulsen's towering two-run homer to center. Designated hitter Chris Epps knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to center, and second baseman Mike Freeman knocked in Jason Stolz on a grounder to short.

Golden Eagles starter Chason Choate couldn't make it out of the inning, and junior Lee Henry replaced him with two outs. Henry, who threw three innings in Friday night's 5-4 loss to Clemson, got catcher John Nester to pop out to second to end the threat.

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Top seeded Clemson and No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech are under way in an elimination game in the Clemson Region on an absolutely scorching afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on left fielder Jeff Schaus' RBI-single to right. Designated hitter Chris Epps, who led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, scored after running through the third-base coach's stop sign.

Tennessee Tech coach Matt Bragga went with left-handed junior Chason Choate as his starting pitcher. Choate (1-1, 4.06 ERA) started four games this season, going six innings in his last start against Jacksonville (Ala.) State on May 23.

The Tigers started right-handed freshman Scott Weismann (2-1, 1.57), who is making his third start of the season. Weismann won his last start, lasting five innings in a 5-2 victory over College of Charleston on May 12.

The winner of Sunday's early game will play No. 3 seed Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. ET. The winner will have to beat the Pokes twice to advance to next week's Super Regional.

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Top seed Clemson and No. 3 seed Oklahoma State remain deadlocked in a 0-0 tie going into the sixth inning in Saturday night's game at the Clemson Region.

The Pokes have been unable to muster much of anything against Tigers starter Casey Harman, who allowed only one hit in the first five innings. The left-handed sophomore from South Burlington, Vt., has retired eight straight hitters and allowed only Neil Medchill's single in the first. Harman has struck out six batters and walked two.

The Tigers have had a couple of chances to score against Pokes starter Andrew Oliver, but lined into double plays in both the fourth and fifth innings. Oliver has allowed only three hits and struck out four in the first five innings.

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Whenever Tennessee Tech's Michael Alcorn comes off the mound and into the dugout during a game, Golden Eagles coach Matt Bragga looks for a sign from his pitcher.

If Alcorn gives his coach a thumbs-up, Bragga knows his pitcher's back is holding up.

Ever since Alcorn missed most of two seasons because of a degenerative back condition, Bragga isn't sure how long the senior can last on the mound.

In Saturday's elimination game of the Clemson Region, Bragga didn't have to worry about Alcorn's endurance. Alcorn threw the third complete game of his career, limiting No. 2 seed Alabama to nine hits in a 6-2 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Golden Eagles won an NCAA tournament game for only the third time in school history and the first since 2001.

Tennessee Tech advanced to another elimination game Sunday, when it will play the loser of Saturday night's game between top seed Clemson and No. 3 seed Oklahoma State.

"I wanted to stay in there," said Alcorn, who threw 129 pitches, including 78 strikes. "I wanted to stay in there until Coach Bragga took me out. If I start something, I like to finish it."

No kidding.

Growing up near the Tennessee Tech campus in Cookeville, Tenn., Alcorn wanted nothing more than to pitch for the Golden Eagles. After a standout career at Cookeville High School, Alcorn realized that dream when he signed to play at Tech in 2005.

With his lively fastball and good command, Alcorn was going to be the pitcher who would become the centerpiece of Bragga's young program.

But after a promising start as a freshman in 2005, Alcorn's career nearly ended as soon as it started.

After starting only two games as a sophomore in 2006, doctors diagnosed Alcorn with two broken vertebrae in his back. He tried rehabilitation and returned to the mound, only to break a third vertebrae shortly thereafter.

After only six starts at Tennessee Tech, doctors advised Alcorn to retire from baseball.

So that's what he did.

"It was tough," Alcorn said. "It was probably the toughest thing I ever had to do."

But Alcorn probably didn't realize how tough he really is.

After Alcorn sat out the 2007 season, Bragga was close to making his pitcher's retirement official by declaring him medically unable to perform. Alcorn would keep his academic scholarship, but could no longer pitch for the Golden Eagles.

But with his back feeling better, Alcorn told Bragga he wanted to give it one more shot. He pitched in 14 games last season, compiling a 7-5 record with a 4.64 ERA.

Alcorn battled back problems again this season, but still managed to start eight games, compiling a 2-3 record with a 5.91 ERA.

In what might have been his last college start, Alcorn turned in the best performance of his life. He allowed one run in the second and one more in the seventh. At one point, he retired eight consecutive hitters and held the Tide's powerful lineup without a hit in four innings.

"He just did a good job of keeping the ball down and away," Alabama second baseman Ross Wilson said. "He really didn't miss on anyone. He'd throw the curveball and make you respect it. When a guy's keeping you off-balance like that, it's hard to hit."

Alcorn doesn't have overpowering stuff anymore. He says his fastball tops out at about 88 mph. After his back injury, he focused more on mechanics and pitching, rather than just throwing.

"I think the injury was a blessing in disguise," Alcorn said. "I don't think I would have been able to accomplish this if I didn't quit the first time. It would have gotten worse, and I wouldn't have been here today."

And without Alcorn, the Golden Eagles wouldn't be preparing for tomorrow.

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Top seed Clemson and No. 3 seed Oklahoma State are getting ready to play at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, and the winner of Saturday night's game will clearly be in the driver's seat in the Clemson Region.

The Tigers, who rallied for two runs in the ninth inning of Friday night's 5-4 victory over Tennessee Tech, have hosted either a regional or super regional eight times since the NCAA expanded its baseball tournament in 1999. Clemson came away as the winner in each of those previous home postseason appearances.

In fact, Clemson has won 16 consecutive home games in an NCAA regional.

The Tigers are sending left-handed pitcher Casey Harman (7-3, 3.86 ERA) to the mound. Harman, a sophomore from South Burlington, Vt., has outstanding control. He has walked only 12 batters in 74 2/3 innings and his 6.4 strikeout-walk ratio ranks second in school history. The Tigers are 9-2 in his 11 starts this season.

The Pokes are going with left-handed junior Andrew Oliver (5-6, 5.58 ERA), who was roughed up in his last start. Oliver got a no-decision in OSU's 9-8 loss at Texas Tech on May 15, allowing eight runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the Clemson Region:

Clemson (41-19)
DH Chris Epps
2B Mike Freeman
LF Jeff Schaus
1B Ben Paulsen
RF Kyle Parker
CF Wilson Boyd
3B Jason Stolz
SS Brad Miller
C Phil Pohl

LHP Casey Harman

Oklahoma State (33-22)
CF Micheal Dabbs
3B Tryone Hambly
LF Neil Medchill
C Kevin David
SS Tom Belza
DH Mark Ginther
2B Davis Duren
RF Doug Kroll
1B Dean Green

LHP Andrew Oliver