Clemson stops Nebraska, 11-10
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|Nebraska's Shane Komine struck out seven, but gave up a career-high eight walks against Clemson.
The Cornhuskers squandered a five-run, fifth-inning lead and agonized after Clemson's Jeff Baker delivered the game-winning, ninth-inning single to propel the Tigers to an 11-10 victory at Rosenblatt Stadium. The defeat sent Nebraska into the losers' bracket, where it must beat South Carolina tomorrow to extend its season. Clemson faces Georgia Tech in the winner's bracket tomorrow.
"I just hope they can bounce back and be mentally ready for Sunday," Cornhuskers coach Dave Van Horn said.
The loss dropped the Big 12's record to 0-9 in College World Series play and marked Nebraska's third consecutive one-run loss here after suffering two a year ago. Neither pitching staff was effective and struggled with the tight strike zone of plate umpire John Magnusson.
Thirteen pitchers, a CWS single-game record, combined for 21 walks and hit four batters. Twelve of those runners scored, and the Cornhuskers (47-20) surrendered seven of those runs.
"There's no excuse for that," Nebraska right-hander Shane Komine said. "We just didn't get the job done."
Komine, a 1998 Kalani High graduate, pitched 5¡ innings, allowing six runs on six hits and a career-high eight walks. His seven strikeouts gave him a career 510, moving him fifth all-time. He moved past Arizona State's Eddie Bane, who had 505. Because he was not involved in the decision he departed with a 7-6 lead his record remains 10-0 on the season.
But the walks hurt Komine. He had walked two batters that set up Zane Green's three-run home run in the sixth that pulled Clemson to within one.
After the home run, Khalil Greene walked, ending Komine's evening. Aaron Marsden got the next two batters out.
Greene, who received the Howser Award as the nation's top college player, gave Clemson (53-15) its first lead, 10-8, with his three-run, seventh-inning home run off Steve Hale. The Cornhuskers rallied, though, to tie the game on Will Bolt's two-run triple in the eighth.
It wouldn't last long, though, as right-hander Phil Shirek (4-2) issued a ninth-inning, leadoff walk to David Slevin, the Tigers' No. 9 hitter. Slevin advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and after an intentional walk to Greene, Baker lined a walk-off single to the gap off right-hander Jeff Blaesing.
"You couldn't have a better guy at the plate," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said.