Road to National Title Just Got Longer

OMAHA, Neb. – The road to the national championship just got a little longer for Clemson. Had the Tigers beat North Carolina, it would have had to win only one game. Now, they have to win three, including two over the Tar Heels.

Clemson has to beat Cal State Fullerton Tuesday afternoon, then beat the Tar Heels on Wednesday and again on Thursday.

It's not an impossible task to win three in a row, which the Tigers have obviously done seven different times this year, especially as good as deep as Clemson's pitching is.

The Tigers have yet to throw Josh Cribb, Jason Berken, David Kopp or P.J. Zocchi. In fact, by the time Thursday rolls around, Sean Clark and Stephen Faris will be ready to throw again.

"Ok, then that's what we've got to do," said Clemson coach Jack Leggett. "We'll see some good pitching again, but we've done it before."

LEADOFF WOES: Clemson failed to start a single inning Sunday by getting a leadoff hitter to reach base. In fact, over their last 17 innings, only twice has the leadoff hitter reached base.

"The key to getting the offense on track is getting the leadoff man on base," Leggett said. "I'm a little surprised. I think we're a little better offensively than we've shown here. We have to go out and prove it."

GREAT PITCHING: Sunday's game was the first time in 11 years at the College World Series that both starting pitchers threw a complete game. The last time it happened was June 2, 1995 when Jonathan Johnson of Florida State earned a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma's Mark Rdman.

It was the third time in 31 CWS games that the Tigers have been shutout.

The two pitchers were so dominating that the game last a scant 2:15, which is only the sixth time in the last 25 years a game in the CWS went that short.

"That's about as well pitched game as you will ever see, by both kids," Tar Heels coach Mike Fox said.

QUICK HITS: Clemson leftfielder Tyler Colvin went 0-for-4 to snap his 26-game hitting streak. Centerfielder Brad Chalk's single in the sixth extended his streak to 15 games. … Clemson and Cal State Fullerton have combined for 25 CWS appearances, but Tuesday's game will be the first time the two will have faced each other in Omaha. …

The three hits by the Tigers were the fewest in a CWS game since Jason Windsor of Cal State Fullerton held South Carolina to three hits on June 19, 2004. … Fifteen of the last 16 national champions started 2-0 in Omaha. Southern California in 1998 was the only team to win the title over that stretch without starting 2-0. … North Carolina's win was the 52nd of the season, which is a school record. Top Stories