Long Beach St. 12, Clemson 11
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Willy Speakman homered leading off the bottom of the ninth inning Monday to give Long Beach State a 12-11 victory over Clemson, elminating the highest remaining seed in the College World Series.
Top-ranked Florida State, sent home Sunday night, and No. 2 Clemson (60-10) were each eliminated from the series without winning a game.
Sixth-seeded Long Beach State (45-21), advances to Tuesday’s elimination game against the loser of Monday night’s other contest, matching hometown favorite Creighton and third-seeded Wichita State.
Scott Talanoa hit a two-run homer to spark Long Beach State’s three-run first inning, drove in another run with a grounder in the four-run third and broke a 7-7 tie with a bases-loaded, fielder’s choice grounder in the fourth. Eddie Christian hit a two-run homer in the third and his two-out single in the eighth tied the game 11-11.
Speakman then finished it at the expense of Clemson reliever Eric Bradford (4-1).
Eric Macrina hit his 24th homer of the season in Clemson’s third inning and singled in the fourth to pull the Tigers into a 7-7 tie in the fourth.
Long Beach reliever Jimmy Griego, a little-used senior, retired 10 straight hitters from the fourth inning until Jeff Miller singled to open the eighth. One out later, Billy McMillon singled to chase Griego, who allowed only two hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Todd Taylor (8-2) qualified for the victory despite being raked in the eighth. He walked Kevin Northrup to load the bases and Michael Spier’s infield hit cut the Long Beach State lead to 10-7. After a sacrifice fly, a two-out single to left by Joe DeBerry tied the game and sent Spier to third.
Spier and DeBerry, son of Air Force Academy football coach Fisher DeBerry, worked a double steal to put Clemson ahead 11-10.
Clemson stole seven bases in the game to tie a CWS record shared by four other schools. The 11 steals for both teams broke the record of nine set by Ohio State and Houston in 1967 and tied by Arizona State and Oklahoma State in 1984.