Tech victimized by late Clemson explosion again

Friday, June 16th 2006, 9:53 pm
By: News On 6

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ A late-inning explosion by Clemson doomed Georgia Tech for the second-straight meeting between the Atlantic Coast Conference rivals.

This time, the loss put the Yellow Jackets one defeat away from packing up for the season and pushed Clemson another step closer to winning its first national title.

On Friday, Clemson scored eight runs in the eighth-inning on the way to a 8-4 win in the College World Series opener for both teams.

In the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament last month, Clemson scored 10 runs in the ninth inning as the Tigers went on to win 16-11.

Clemson's late surge on Friday came after the Tigers were handcuffed for seven innings by Yellow Jacket starter Lee Hyde.

``Lee Hyde pitched magnificent,'' Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said. ``He couldn't have pitched any better than he did.''

Hyde gave up only two hits through seven innings but was charged with two runs after he gave up a walk and a hit before being pulled for Brad Rulon in the eighth.

It was the second-straight time Hyde had a strong outing against Clemson that went for naught.

On May 25, Hyde gave up only two runs in eight innings of work, but then saw Clemson get a run off Tech closer Matt Wieters to win 3-2.

On Friday, both Hyde and Hall said they were confident Tech's bullpen could seal the win.

But after Hyde left, the Tigers abused Rulon and three other Yellow Jacket pitchers in the eighth, with the biggest blow coming from Andy D'Alessio's three-run home run off Ryan Turner.

``Our bullpen's been great. One of the reasons we're here is our bullpen has been outstanding all year,'' Hall said. ``We didn't execute the pitches we needed to.''

Getting hits off the Yellow Jacket bullpen was a key for Clemson, Tigers coach Jack Leggett said, especially in light of Hyde's performance.

``Hyde was doing a great job pitching. You got to give him credit, he pitched a real good ball game,'' Leggett said. ``We've got some weapons that were just a little quiet for a long period of time.''