Widmann Shines In Homecoming

WACO, Texas – Even though his parents were dead against it, Stan Widmann decided he wanted to play baseball for Clemson as opposed to Baylor, which is about an hour from his hometown of Hurst, Texas.

At the time, it was a difficult stand he had to take. He stuck to his original choice despite immense pressure from all directions to play for the Bears.

"There were a couple of other schools, but those were the main guys," said Widmann, a freshman. "It was really tough because both are really good programs and academic wise. I was looking at the depth in the infield and where I'd have the biggest impact right off the bat and I decided Clemson would be better off for me."

Widmann's choice irked at least one of the Baylor coaches, who after learning of Widmann's choice told the shortstop's summer league coach that Widmann wasn't capable of playing big-time college baseball.

When asked about what he saw in Widmann coming out of high school, Bears coach Steve Smith did everything he could to avoid speaking about the player that got away.

"You're kidding?" Smith asked the reporter. "He's a good player. He's a good shortstop. I'll talk to you more about it after this press conference. This ain't the Stan Widmann Show."

It didn't help matters that Widmann also got the game-winning hit in Game 1 of the Waco Super Regional off of Smith's top reliever. Prior to his last hit, Widmann was 0-for-6 this season with the bases loaded.

"I don't like stats," Widmann joked.

Though Widmann's parents now couldn't be happier with their son's choice, just knowing that there were still some very hard feelings still remaining in the area prompted Clemson coach Jack Leggett to have a little chat with his shortstop.

"Stan is a very tough player and a very tough competitor and a very tough practice player, who works extremely hard," Leggett said. "He's got a lot of pride. Sometimes you can get too jacked up coming back to your home and play. That was the only thing that I was a little bit worried about.

"(I told him) to stay within yourself and don't try to do something outside the box. Just play within yourself and I think that's the most important lesson all these young kids have to learn."

It appears the trip home actually gave Widmann a calming effect, as apposed to making him more hyper and nervous. He finished Saturday going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.

"It's definitely good to be back in front of the home crowd," he said. "It took a little pressure off to see people out there that I know. I could just go out there and play the best I can and help my team win."

Just before leaving his post-game press conference, Smith took one more backhanded swipe.

"We certainly would have like to have won this game, but it didn't happen," he said. "So we'll come back and play tomorrow. Maybe we'll find a way to get ol' Stanley Widmann out."

Quick Hitters
At the start of the seventh inning Leggett huddled the team in the dugout to remind them that there were still three innings of baseball left and that even though they had just three hits up to that point that anything was still possible. Clemson went on to score two runs in the seventh to take the lead. …

Tigers first baseman Andy D'Alessio grabbed his left hamstring while batting in the eighth inning. Thankfully for Clemson it was just cramps and not a tweaked muscle. He's expected to be 100 percent for Sunday.

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