April 25, 1998
CLEMSON, SC–Ryan Mottl allowed just four hits and one run and Kurt Bultmann figured prominently in both Clemson runs, leading the fourth-ranked Tigers to a 2-1 victory over 10th ranked Florida State Friday night at Tiger Field. The victory improved Clemson’s record to 39-7 overall, 11-4 in the ACC. Florida State fell to 39-13 overall, 14-3 in the ACC. The same two teams meet Saturday evening at 7:00 PM.
Sunday’s game between the two teams will begin at 1:00 PM, not 4:00 PM as previously listed. Former Clemson All-American Rusty Adkins had his jersey number -three retired during pregame ceremonies.
Mottl earned his ninth victory of the season against just one loss. He allowed just four hits and one earned run. Wes Crawford (6-2) took the loss for Florida State even though he allowed just two runs on 10 hits. He pitched all eight innings.
“Ryan Mottl battled all night, he pitched out of jams all night,” said Leggett, who is now 5-0 against ranked teams this year. “I thought our defense was also outstanding. Patrick Boyd made a great catch in center the certainly would have been a double. Brian Holstad and Doug Roper also made some outstanding plays.
“Ryan had great concentration tonight and had poise. He knew it would be a very close game and he was very competitive. You could see it in his eyes when he came to the ballpark tonight.”
Clemson continued its masterful pitching against Florida State at Tiger Field in recent years. Over the last four games between the two teams at Tiger Field, Clemson has allowed just one earned run and two total runs. Clemson is now 9-1 against Florida State at Tiger Field since the Seminoles joined the ACC in 1992. Florida State has scored just 21 runs in the last 10 games at Tiger Field.
Derek Borgert had three hits to lead the Clemson offense, while Bultmann had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run. Florida State had just four hits, no one had more than one hit.
The two teams put on a pitching and fielding display over the first three innings. Clemson starter Ryan Mottl held the Seminoles to just one hit and two base runners during the period, while Florida State starter Wes Crawford allowed just two hits and walked two.
Clemson finally broke the ice in the bottom of the fourth. Kurt Bultmann led off the inning with an infield single at short, and advanced to second with Brett Groves’ throw went over first baseman Kevin Cash’s head.
Peter Nystrom then lined back to Crawford, who then threw to second in an attempt to get Bultmann, but the throw was to the left field side of second and dribbled into center, allowing Bultmann to move to third. Brian Holstad then executed a perfect suicide squeeze, scoring Bultmann. Clemson had three more hits in the inning, but could not score.
Clemson took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Padgett, Clemson’s leading hitter with a .424 average, singled to left to open the inning. Jason Harris followed with a single to right to move Padgett to third. Bultmann then singled to center to score Padgett.
Florida State made the contest a one-run game in the sixth when Brian Cox hit a home run to left center. It was the Florida State centerfielder’s ninth home run of the year and it came on an 0-2 count.
The Seminoles threatened in the seventh, eighth and ninth. In the seventh, Terry Henderson led off with a walk and got to third on an error by Jason Harris, the first miscue of the year by the Clemson first baseman after 442 consecutive errorless chances. But, Mottl induced Brett Groves to fly out to left field to end the inning.
Karl Jernigan had a lead off single in the eighth, then moved to second on a sacrifice by Jose Zabala. But, Mottl got Cox to ground out to third, then he struck out the Seminoles’ number-four hitter, Jeremy Salazar, to end the inning. It was the first strikeout of the night for Mottl on his 107th pitch.
In the ninth Matt Diaz had a one-out single. Clemson Coach Jack Leggett went to the bullpen to bring in his ace reliever Scott Clackum. the senior forced pinch-hitter Jeremiah Klosterman to ground out to first. That allowed Diaz to move to second with two out. But, Brooks Badeaux grounded out to third to end the game and give Clackum his seventh save of the season.