AUBURN, Ala. -- Some might question the decision to start Scott Weismann in Clemson's Auburn Regional opener today against Southern Miss, noting his 5.47 ERA and the sophomore's recent struggles. In addition to allowing six runs in three innings against Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament, Weismann has just one quality start in his last six outings.
Still, Jack Leggett is not starting Weismann simply because he is right-handed against a heavy right-handed Golden Eagles lineup. Weismann has risen to the occasion before.
"He had a little bit of a rough outing last time out," Leggett said. "But he pitched well against Florida State. He pitched well against South Carolina, and he pitched very well (in the 2009 Clemson Regional) when we had to have him."
In last season's regional, Weismann threw eight shutout innings against Tennessee Tech. Against rival South Carolina earlier this season, Weismann allowed just two runs and struck out five in six innings. Weismann also limited Florida State to three runs over six innings in a May 21 victory.
Last weekend, Weismann said his off speed pitches were "flat" and believes a mechanical adjustment has alleviated the problem.
Blast from the past
Four former Auburn players are immortalized with their likeness screen printed on the outfield fence at Plainsman Park: Bo Jackson, Frank Thomas, Tim Hudson and Gregg Olson.
Clemson hitting coach Tom Riginos played against Frank Thomas in the 1989 Atlantic Regional. Riginos called Thomas and his then Stetson teammate Mo Vaughn -- who went on to an All-Star big league career -- the scariest two college hitters he has ever seen.
Auburn coach John Pawlowski thinks two of his better hitters, Trent Mummey (hamstring) and Brian Fletcher (hand), will be able to play this weekend.
"I think both guys have progressed pretty well," Pawlowski said. "Trent was moving pretty well in center field tracking balls during BP (Thursday)."
Mummey and Fletcher have combined for 35 home runs this season. Mummey and Fletcher were limited to one combined plate appearance in the final two games of the SEC tournament.
Clemson outfielder Wilson Boyd (shoulder) says he expects to play and took batting practice Thursday.
In his 17-year tenure at Clemson, Leggett has never gone more than three years between College World Series appearances. Clemson has not played in a College World Series since 2006, meaning Leggett needs a trip this year to avoid a record CWS drought. ... Tickets are still available for the Auburn Regional. Single-game tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. today.