Tigers Take Out 'Noles, 8-7
For Florida State, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
For 7 1/3 innings, the top-seed Seminoles were out-pitched, out-hit, and out-hustled by #3 seed Clemson. And when Florida State’s bats finally came alive in the eight inning, the ‘Noles were six-runs back and in too deep of a hole to come back.
Tiger pitcher Matt Additon turned in a brilliant performance in earning the win. The 6’ righty pitched 7 1/3 innings and gave up six hits and five runs to the powerful Seminoles. Clemson was keyed on offense by timely hitting and a number of Florida State errors. The Tigers move on to Saturday night’s ACC championship game against #2 seed Wake Forest, a team that handled Clemson in the second round of the tournament.
Clemson started the game against Florida State quickly, striking for two runs in the top of the first inning. Henri Stanley was hit by FSU starter Chris Chavez to lead off. Patrick Boyd followed with a single to right and Stanley advanced to third. Boyd then took off for second on Chavez’ second pitch to Kurt Bultmann. Florida State catcher Jeremiah Klosterman’s throw sailed over the second baseman’s head, allowing Stanley to score and Boyd to move to third. Following a Bultmann strikeout, Tiger Jason Harris slapped a double off the left field wall, driving in Boyd and giving Clemson a 2-0 lead.
Florida State came back quickly in the bottom half of the inning when Klosterman’s bloop single to centerfield drove in Marshall McDougal.
The Seminoles then tied the game in the second when John-Ford Griffin singled home Karl Jernigan. It would be the last time the Seminole’s would score for the next five innings.
After leading off the third with a double, Clemson’s Patrick Boyd scored off a Kurt Bultmann single to left, giving the Tigers a lead that they would not relinquish.
Clemson continued to light up FSU starter Chavez in the fourth. Brian Ellis doubled to the left-center field gap to lead off. First-round hero Justin Singleton followed with a single. Ellis scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Casey Stone. Following a Henri Stanley groundout, Patrick Boyd walked to load the bases. Chavez’ first pitch to Kurt Bultmann got past the FSU catcher and Stone scored from third.
In the seventh, Clemson continued to take advantage of Florida State miscues when Khalil Greene’s fly ball to right field was dropped by Matt Diaz. Jason Harris advanced scored from first base, giving the Tigers a 6-2 lead.
Clemson struck again in the top of the eighth when Seminole pitcher Chris Whidden walked Bradley LeCroy and Patrick Boyd to start the inning. After a Kurt Bultmann pop-out, Jason Harris doubled to right field, driving in LeCroy and Boyd and putting the Tigers ahead 8-2.
Florida State’s bats revived in the eighth. A double by Kevin Cash scored Matt Diaz. Two batters later, Clemson reliever Chris Heck walked John Halliday with the bases loaded. Heck’s pitch to Brett Groves got past catcher Brian Ellis and the Seminoles pulled within three.
Florida State’s rally continued in the ninth when Heck walked Diaz with one out. Chris Hart then doubled off the right field wall, advancing Diaz to third. Sam Scott’s single to center drove in Diaz and Hart moved to third. Kevin Cash then singled to right to score Hart and bring FSU to within one. Heck then dug in with to retire the last two batters, striking out both Karl Jernigan and John Halliday to end both the game and send Florida State home.