Tigers sweep Seminoles to capture first division title since 2006


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers entered the weekend’s play with questions about the pitching staff and offensive consistency, and were facing the daunting task of having to sweep the 7th-ranked Florida St. Seminoles in order to win the ACC’s Atlantic Division Crown and the #2 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament.

A young Clemson pitching staff answered a lot of those questions, the offense has seemingly hit its stride and the 22nd-ranked Tigers knocked off the Seminoles 8-3 Saturday afternoon, completing the three-game sweep and entering the ACC Tournament with momentum on their side.

“We played very well, and I thought the kids played tough all weekend,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “We got some timely hits, we played really well defensively and we got great pitching all weekend. The guys stepped up.”

With the victory, the Tigers finished the regular season tied with the Seminoles for first place in the ACC Atlantic Division with an 18-12 record. By virtue of the Tigers' three-game sweep over Florida State, Clemson captured its first division title since 2006 and improved to 37-19 on the season. The Seminoles, who suffered their first three-game losing streak since early March of 2009 and their first three-game sweep since the Tigers swept Florida State in 2006, fell to 39-16.

The Tigers took advantage of FSU starter John Gast’ss wildness in the first inning to plate three runs. Brad Miller led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Mike Freeman. Gast threw a wild pitch that scored Miller, and a Jeff Schaus groundout moved Freeman to third.

Kyle Parker then roped a double into left-center field to score Freeman, and he moved to third on a groundout by John Hinson. Gast promptly uncorked his second wild pitch of the inning and Parker scored easily for a 3-0 lead after the first inning.

The Seminoles scored two in the third to pull within one run at 3-2, but the Tigers responded in a big way in the bottom of the third, a half inning that lasted 28 minutes and saw Clemson put four runs up on the board, all with two outs.

Schaus led off with a walk, but the next two batters struck out. Richie Shaffer then struck out to seemingly end the inning, but the pitch rolled all the way to the backstop, allowing Shaffer to reach first base and extend the inning. The Seminoles then walked Wilson Boyd to load the bases, and John Nester walked on a 3-2 pitch to plate Schaus. Jason Stolz reached on an infield single to score Shaffer, and then Miller singled to right field to score Boyd and Nester.

“We made something happen after the ball in the dirt,” Leggett said. “We had some good hits, we were patient at the plate, had some good at-bats, and that is what made the difference for us.”

The Seminoles added another run in the fourth, but Clemson used another clutch two-out hit to add to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hinson lined a one-out single down the right-field line and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Boyd was intentionally walked, Nester grounded a two-out single up the middle to score Hinson.

Alex Frederick (6-1) earned the win in relief by pitching 4.2 strong innings in support of starter Dominic Leone. He allowed just one hit, no runs, and two walks with five strikeouts. The junior righthander from Lagrangeville, NY also improved to 6-0 in his last seven appearances (one start). Frederick, Leone and Tomas Cruz combined to limit Florida State to 0-for-7 with two outs and 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Stolz had a team-high two hits and an RBI to pace Clemson, who outhit Florida State 8-6. Miller added a single, two RBIs, one run, two walks, and a steal for the Tigers, who won their eighth straight regular-season finale (2003-10).

The Tigers earned their fourth three-game sweep of the season thanks to outhitting Florida State .343 to .216 and totaling 36 hits to the Seminoles' 21. Boyd led Clemson by going 5-for-9 (.555) with a homer, four RBIs, and four walks, while Miller went 7-for-13 (.538) with a homer, double, five RBIs, six runs, and two walks. Stolz also proved to be a spark plug, as he was 6-for-12 in the series.

Clemson will be the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC from May 26-30. The other seeds are #1 Virginia, #3 Georgia Tech, #4 Miami (FL), #5 Forida State, #6 Virginia Tech, #7 N.C. State, and #8 Boston College. The Tigers will be in Bracket B with Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and N.C. State, meaning Clemson will play each of those three teams during a four-day stretch between Wednesday and Saturday. Clemson had a 12-6 record during the regular season against teams in the 2010 ACC Tournament and a 6-3 record against teams in its bracket. Game dates and times will be announced by the ACC Office on Sunday.


Florida State 3 (39-16,18-12 ACC)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Tyler Holt cf............  4  0  0  0   0  1  3  0   3
Sherman Johnson 3b.......  4  0  2  1   0  0  0  1   0
Mike McGee lf............  3  0  1  0   1  2  2  0   0
James Ramsey rf..........  3  1  0  0   1  0  2  0   1
Stuart Tapley dh.........  4  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
Stephen Cardullo ss......  4  0  2  0   0  1  3  2   0
Jayce Boyd 1b............  3  0  0  1   0  0  5  1   0
 Ohmed Danesh ph.........  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
Parker Brunelle c........  1  1  0  0   2  1  5  0   0
 Rafael Lopez c..........  1  0  1  0   0  0  3  0   0
 Taiwan Easterling pr....  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Devon Travis 2b..........  1  1  0  0   1  1  0  2   0
 Justin Gonzalez ph/2b...  1  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   0
 Sean Gilmartin ph.......  1  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   1
John Gast p..............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  1   0
 Tyler Everett p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Tye Buckley p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Robby Scott p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Daniel Bennett p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Geoff Parker p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Scott Sitz p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 31  3  6  2   5  8 24  7   6

Clemson 8 (37-19,18-12 ACC)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Brad Miller dh...........  3  1  1  2   2  2  0  0   0
Mike Freeman 2b..........  4  1  1  0   1  0  2  5   2
Jeff Schaus lf...........  5  1  1  0   0  0  0  0   3
Kyle Parker rf...........  5  1  1  1   0  2  7  0   0
John Hinson 3b...........  5  1  1  0   0  2  0  1   0
Richie Shaffer 1b........  3  1  0  0   1  2  6  0   0
 Will Lamb 1b............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  0   0
Wilson Boyd cf...........  1  1  0  0   3  0  2  0   0
 Addison Johnson cf......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
John Nester c............  3  1  1  2   1  0  8  1   2
Jason Stolz ss...........  4  0  2  1   0  1  1  1   2
Dominic Leone p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Alex Frederick p........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Tomas Cruz p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33  8  8  6   8  9 27  8   9

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Florida State....... 002 100 000 -  3  6  0
Clemson............. 304 100 00X -  8  8  1
-------------------------------------------

E - HINSON(8). DP - Clemson 2. LOB - Florida St. 6; Clemson 9. 2B -
CARDULLO(13); PARKER(14). SB - MILLER(9); SCHAUS(6); SHAFFER(2). CS -
JOHNSON(3).

Florida State          IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
John Gast...........  2.2  4  6  6  3  3 13 16
Tyler Everett.......  0.0  2  1  1  1  0  2  3
Tye Buckley.........  0.0  0  0  0  1  0  0  1
Robby Scott.........  0.1  0  0  0  0  0  1  1
Daniel Bennett......  1.0  2  1  1  1  2  5  6
Geoff Parker........  2.0  0  0  0  2  2  6  8
Scott Sitz..........  2.0  0  0  0  0  2  6  6

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Dominic Leone.......  3.1  3  3  3  3  2 12 15
Alex Frederick......  4.2  1  0  0  2  5 15 17
Tomas Cruz..........  1.0  2  0  0  0  1  4  4

Win - FREDERICK (6-1).  Loss - GAST (6-3).  Save - None.
WP - GAST 3(7); BENNETT(3); PARKER(5); FREDERICK(6).
Umpires - HP: Scott Graham  1B: Randy Harvey  3B: Scott Kennedy
Start: 1:07 PM   Time: 2:59   Attendance: 5108
EVERETT faced 3 batters in the 3rd.
BUCKLEY faced 1 batter in the 3rd.

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