Moller Takes Notes, Then Passes the Test
Chris Moller watched Oklahoma State reliever Heath Askew, noticed something to his liking then took advantage of it Friday in the opening game of the College World Series.
Moller’s second home run of the game, a three-run shot with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, rallied Alabama to a 7-5 victory over the Cowboys.
The Alabama (50-17) first baseman watched Askew pitch to Dax Norris before he batted in the ninth and noticed Askew threw mostly off-speed and breaking pitches.
“I went up there looking for a breaking pitch and luckily I got one,” said Moller. “I hit them both [home runs] pretty good.”
The Crimson Tide trailed, 5-3, with one out in the ninth inning when David Tidwell hit a solo home run off Oklahoma State (45-20) starter Jon Adkins. Joe Caruso doubled to bring in Askew (7-4), who walked Norris.
Moller then hit his 13th homer of the season, which landed in nearly the same spot deep over the left-center field fence as did his solo shot leading off the sixth that tied the game, 3-3.
The win in the game delayed 50 minutes because of rain sends Alabama into a game against Miami. Oklahoma State will play Clemson in an elimination game Sunday.
Miami 7, Clemson 3--The Hurricanes scored three runs in the first inning against Kris Benson, college baseball’s player of the year, and scored the deciding run on a Clemson (49-16) outfielder’s mental lapse.
Benson (14-1) struck out 15 in 7 1/3 innings, but gave up five runs on eight hits.
Benson, the nation’s earned-run average leader at 1.40 entering the game, struggled in the first inning, giving up a single to Ryan Grimmett and two walks to load the bases with no outs. T.R. Marcinczyk singled home two runs one out later and Michael DeCelle singled in another before Benson finished striking out the side.
Three Clemson pitchers ended with 19 strikeouts to break the CWS record of 17 in a nine-inning game.