COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - [if gte mso 9]>
[if gte mso 9]>
Catcher Trey Wimmer drove in six runs, starter Josh Richardson scattered six hits and Liberty won its first NCAA tournament game in 13 years with an 8-3 victory over Clemson to start the Columbia Regional.
Wimmer is a South Carolina native who grew up a Tiger fan. Yet he battered his old favorites with a three-run homer and a two-run double for the Flames (35-27), who've won six straight this postseason, taking the Big South tournament title.
The Tigers (39-21) went cold in the middle innings as Richardson retired 17 straight batters, a string that ended with Steven Duggar's leadoff double in the ninth. Clemson has lost six straight games and needs to win an elimination game Saturday to keep going.
Liberty's last NCAA victory came at South Carolina's defunct Sarge Frye Field in 2000 when Flames coach Jim Toman was an assistant coach for the Gamecocks.