Clark Huge Again As Tigers Dump UNC-Asheville 3-0


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CLEMSON - Sean Clark's name likely will never appear in any Clemson record book. Yet the righthander has forever written his name in the lore and legend of Tiger baseball.

For the second time in less than a week, Clark made a surprise postseason appearance and was simply dominating. Last Sunday it was the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, when he tossed eight-plus innings of one-run baseball in the 8-4 victory over N.C. State.

Saturday, taking over for Jason Berken after Friday night's NCAA Regional opener was suspended by rain, Clark was at it again. He fired eight shutout innings, leading Clemson to a 3-0 victory over UNC-Asheville in a game that was resumed at 11 a.m.

Clark's masterpiece came before a sellout crowd of 5,617 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

"He (Clark) probably wasn't getting as many opportunities as before, but he's taking advantage of it now," said Clemson head coach Jack Leggett. "He did a great job of keeping them off balance today. I thought his changeup was really good, an he locates his fastball well. He did exactly what we needed him to do."

The Bulldogs didn't get a hit until the sixth inning, when Elliot Arrington beat out an infield single on a ground ball up the middle.

Asheville never threatened until the ninth when it put two on with two out against Clark. But after a visit from pitching coach Kevin O'Sullivan, Clark got John Whited - the potential tying run - to fly out to short right field to end the game.

Overall Clark (2-0) allowed just three hits, while walking two and striking out six. His fly ball-to-ground ball ratio was 13-4, most of the Bulldog batters going down on routine plays as Clark kept them off balance with a good curve ball and nasty changeup.

"Today I threw the changeup more. I think I threw it more than I had last weekend...," Clark said. "Some of the lefties were looking fastball and the changeup kept them off balance. The curve ball was also working well, so I was able to keep them guessing."

Offensively Clemson didn't do much better against Asheville's Chris Nigro (5-11), collecting only six hits off the soft-tossing lefty.

Fortuntely, one of them left the yard. Shortstop Stan Widmann hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the second inning for a 2-0 lead.

Clemson's third run scored in the third when Tyler Colvin's infield single scored Herman Demmink with two outs.

The Tigers (48-14) will be back at Doug Kingsmore at 7 p.m. tonight to face Elon in the winner's bracket game.

The Bulldogs (28-34) are back in action today at 3 p.m. in an elimination game vs. Mississippi State (35-22).

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