Cooper's Fifth Hit Beats Clemson
June 20, 2006
Omaha, Neb - David Cooper's tie-breaking bloop single, his fifth hit of the game, scored Blake Davis in the eighth inning and lifted No. 5-seeded Cal State Fullerton to a 7-6 victory Tuesday evening over No. 1-seeded Clemson that kept the Titans alive in the 60th College World Series.
Clemson sees its season end with a 53-16 record while Fullerton (50-14) advances to face North Carolina needing two wins to gain the Championship Series against the winner of the other bracket.
Davis singled with one out in the eighth, advanced to second on a wild pitch with two outs, to third on Danny Dorn's infield single and scored when Cooper floated one over the shortstop's head into short centerfield.
Clemson got a leadoff double from Taylor Harbin off winner Adam Jorgenson (2-0) in the ninth. Ryan Paul, who was left at the hotel due to stomach flu, came in to strike out Andy D'Alessio before giving way to Roemer, who made his first relief appearance of the season and logged his first save with a pop fly and a strike out.
David Kopp, the fourth of five Tiger pitchers, fell to 6-2.
After a 3-run first inning, the Titans couldn't score again until the seventh inning when Cooper collected his fourth hit, a 2-run home run to right center, to draw the Titans within 6-5. Brandon Tripp was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a two-out single to left by Evan McArthur that tied the game.
Meanwhile, Clemson scored six unanswered runs in the first four innings to take a 6-3 lead. After the Titans tied it, the Tigers loaded the bases after two outs in the bottom of the seventh but reliever Adam Jorgensen retired Herman Demmink on a grounder to first.
The first inning continued to haunt Titan pitchers. After being staked to a 3-run lead, Lauren Gagnier gave up three ground-ball singles for a quick Clemson run. With two outs, D'Alessio doubled home two more to tie the game. Roemer had given up two runs in the first inning on Friday vs. North Carolina and Dustin Miller was touched for three runs in the first inning Sunday by Georgia Tech.
Clemson had scored in only one previous inning at Rosenblatt, its 8-run rally on Friday vs. Georgia Tech. The Tigers were shut out by North Carolina on Sunday
Fullerton drove Tigers' starter Jason Berken out after only six batters. Justin Turner singled to right to open the game and was almost doubled up when Davis lined out to third. Brett Pill doubled home Turner and came home on Dorn's double. Cooper singled home Dorn and Berken was done after hitting Tripp. But reliever P. J. Zocchi got Clark Hardman to pop out and struck out McArthur.
Clemson took the lead in the second as D. J. Mitchell singled, stole second and scored on a line-drive single by Herman Demmink. The Tigers scored twice in the fourth keyed by doubles by Adrian Casanova and Marquez Smith.
The Titans wasted two hits in the second and failed on a hit-and-run in the third as David Cooper was thrown out stealing. They got McArthur to third in the fourth but Davis grounded out to second. They loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but McArthur's hard ground ball went right at the shortstop.
Both teams squandered chances. The Titans left 9 runners, 6 of them in scoring position, while the Tigers stranded 11, 8 in scoring position.
The game was the third longest 9-inning game in CWS history at 4:05.
This season marks the eighth time the Titans have won 50 games in a season.
Post-game quotes: Coach George Horton: "Clemson is a great ball club... we just couldn't stop them. It's obvious why they were the No. 1 seed. "I'm proud of our warriors. Ryan Paul didn't get to the park until about the seventh inning because of stomach flu and he barely made it from the bullpen to the mound. He gave us one out which played a big bearng on the game. Our guys don't quit. "I didn't think (Lauren) Gagnier was throwing that poorly. His stuff was good and he's a bulldog. I didn't want to make a quick hook."
Pitcher Lauren Gagnier: "It was a frustrating deal. I hadn't been hit that hard. I wasn't doing a good job of missing barrels. Adam Jorgenson has saved me four earned runs already in the World Series. I've gotta get him a present after the game."
Freshman DH David Cooper: "This is obviously an unbelievable event. I got some good pitches to hit and got lucky and they fell in.
"It's nice (on giving the veterans another game to play). The guys are like older brothers to me.
(on his home run): "I was sitting on a fastball. They had been attacking me in and throwing off speed stuff away.
(on his 8th-inning single): "Moskos has a good curveball. I haven't faced a lot of lefties in a while. I just tried to put the bat on the ball."
Pitcher Wes Roemer (on closing): "That's tough. I commend all the pitchers who do it. I just tried to stay mentally tough and when ny time was called in the seventh inning I started to stretch. I pitched in relief on Saturday and Sunday vs. Arizona State (last year's Super Regional) and didn't do too well so that was in the back of my head. I just had to be mentally tough.
(on his walk behind the mound before last pitch) :I was trying to calm myself down. I got a good breath and was relaxed. It was a slider.
(on facing North Carolina again Wednesday): "Hopefully my stuff will be a lot better. They kind of rubbed it in our faces, winning an extra-inning game. I think it's kind of equal -- they've seen me and I've seen them."
Third baseman Evan McArthur (on game-tying single): "I had left a lot of runners on bae. It was kind of a relief to me to get a two-out knock."