Clemson exhales, earns NCAA tourney bid

CLEMSON, S.C. (WACH) - It wasn't clear if Clemson would be making a trip to the NCAA baseball Tournament this year until the Tigers actually heard their names called Monday afternoon. The Tigers got the news they wanted and are set to play in the Nashville regional this weekend.

The third-seeded Tigers will play No. 2 seed Oregon in the first round on Friday at 1 p.m. Number-one seed Vanderbilt will host the regional and play fourth-seeded Xavier in the other first round game on Friday.

Clemson enters the tournament with a 36-23 record after going 2-1 at the ACC Tournament, including a win over the ACC's top seed, Miami. That performance may have been the difference in earning the Tigers a bid.

"It was a little bi tof a sleepless night because you just never know where things will fall in the country. The kids were kind of apprehensive about where we were going and what was going on," said Clemson coach Jack Leggett. "So it was a relief for them and now we can concentrate of playing baseball."

Clemson is making its 39th tournament appearance, fifth most in Division I college baseball history.

The Tigers will be facing Oregon for the first time, and will be playing their furst Pac-12 team since 2010 when the Clemson beat Arizona State in the first game of the College World Series.

Clemson has never played number-four seed Xavier and has only faced Vanderbilt three times. The Commodores are coached by former Clemson assistant Tim Corbin, who coached under Jack Leggett from 1994-2002.

"Anybody who gets to the regional at this point in the year is playing good baseball or has won a conference tournament or is coming off some type of momentum," said Leggett. "So it will be a good challenge for us."

This is the 20th NCAA Tournament selection for the Tigers in the 21 years Jack Leggett has been the head coach.