CLEMSON -- Scott Weismann's job at the Auburn Regional was to place the Tigers in the driver's seat by securing a Game 1 win, allowing ace Casey Harman to pitch in the second game.
Weismann is now being summoned for a rescue mission.
Clemson coach Jack Leggett tabbed Weismann as his starter for today's 7 p.m. do-or-die game against Alabama.
Weismann (7-2, 5.14 ERA) will face Alabama's Adam Morgan (7-4, 5.52).
Clemson will also have the services of Jeff Schaus.
Schaus was ejected for arguing balls and strikes after striking out in the ninth inning Saturday. But players are only suspended for fights or post-game ejections.
Don't panic … yet
Sure, Clemson's opening loss to Alabama is not ideal for advancing to its first College World Series since 2006, but the Tigers have overcome the same situation before.
In 2002, as a national seed, the Tigers dropped the opening game against Arkansas at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers won two straight games in the super regional to advance to Omaha.
If the Tigers fail to advance to the College World Series, it will be the longest drought of Leggett's tenure at Clemson.
Not only did Alabama third baseman Jake Smith smack his third home run of the postseason in the second inning Saturday, he also came in for his third save of the postseason, pitching two scoreless innings.
Said Smith of his fastball: "I trust it. It's about the only (pitch) I got."
Bama's favorite Yankees
Clemson baseball has an impressive collection of alumni, including National Players of the Year in Khalil Greene and Kris Benson.
What the Tigers have yet to produce is a Hall of Famer with Major League Baseball ties.
Alabama has ties to two Yankees in the Hall of Fame. Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Sewell lettered in football in Alabama (1917-19) and led the Tide to a 1968 SEC baseball championship as its coach. The Alabama native was also once roommates with Lou Gehrig, and Alabama's stadium is named in his honor.
The Tide has another strong Yankees connection in Mel Allen, a Birmingham native, who graduated from Alabama with a law degree.
Allen was the Tide's manager and public address announcer before becoming the radio voice of the Yankees for 39 years. Allen is in the Radio Hall of Fame.
One major concern for Leggett entering the series was Alabama leadoff batter Taylor Dugas who entered the Clemson regional with .528 on-base percentage. Dugas began Saturday game with four hits in his first four plate appearances. … Alabama has not advanced to the College World Series since 1999. … Alabama catcher Brock Bennett is a former walk-on who arrived on campus at 135 pounds. After three years of hearty meals, Bennett is now tipping the scales at 175.