March 21, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It was a valiant effort by the 17th-ranked Seminoles (10-8, 2-4 ACC) on Saturday evening, but the guys in Garnet and Gold fell just short as 16th-ranked Clemson (14-5, 5-3 ACC) evened the series at a game a piece defeating Florida State 8-7 in 11 innings on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
After the Tigers plated three in the 11th, the Seminoles made things interesting scoring two runs on two outs in the bottom half of the inning off Clemson reliever Matt Vaughn (1-0). With the Seminoles down three, Mike McGee laced an RBI single to left plating Stuart Tapley. Ohmed Danesh kept Florida State alive dropping a bloop single to left just beyond the outstretched glove of Brad Miller at short scoring Jason Stidham to cut the deficit to one.
With runners at the corners, Clemson went to the bullpen and brought on lefty Casey Harman. Harman secured the win for the Tigers and picked up his first save of the season as he got Rafael Lopez to groundout to second to end the game.
The win for Clemson snapped a four-game losing streak against the Seminoles dating back to last year. Clemson moved to 3-1 in extra innings in 2009, while it was the first extra inning game for FSU (0-1) this year.
“I was very proud with the way our young men fought tonight,” said head coach Mike Martin. “That last column on the scoreboard was not something that excites me. When you see four (errors) up there, you have to be very excited about the fact that you were still in the ball game. Once again, I was very pleased with the fight we showed tonight.”
Tyler Holt continued his hot hitting on the year as the sophomore center fielder finished the game 3-for-5 with a career-high four RBI and two runs scored. Holt also registered his first career multi-home run game as he belted two on Saturday night including a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth which tied the game, eventually sending it to extra innings. Holt registered his fifth three-hit game of the season and know has 11 multi-hit games through the first 18 games in 2009.
“Tyler certainly had a big night for us,” added Martin. “He made some nice defensive plays and had some great at-bats. He certainly brings a lot to the table.”
Stephen Cardullo tied a career-high with three hits, while Danesh came off the bench and went 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Clemson’s big hit in the 11th came off the bat of Kyle Parker who launched a two-run blast off the scoreboard in left to give the Tigers the three-run advantage.
Clemson manufactured a pair of runs without registering a hit in the second to take an early 2-0 lead. The Tigers took advantage of a hit batter and a walk by Busch and a throwing error by Stidham at second to grab a two run lead. With runners at second and third and one out, Jason Stolz sent a groundball to second where the throw by Stidham short hopped Jack Posey at first. Both Tiger base runners scored on the play to give Clemson a two-run advantage.
It wasn’t until the third that the Seminole’s registered their first hit of the game. Holt was credited with the honors as he lifted a solo shot out to left center for his second home run of the season and fifth of his career to cut the deficit in half.
Florida State went out in front for the first time on Saturday with two runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. McGee got things started as he drew a one out walk and came around to score on a double off the top of the fence in right center by D’Vontrey Richardson. Richardson would score two batters later on a two out hit back up the middle by Holt.
The lead was short lived as Clemson came back with a run in the fifth to tie the game at three. Addison Johnson connected on a one out double to right, but Richardson could not field the ball cleanly off the wall allowing Johnson to scamper into third standing up. The Tiger center fielder scored one batter later on an RBI groundout to second by Miller.
Clemson threatened to take the lead in the top of the sixth loading the bases with one out on Busch. After a strikeout to start the inning, the freshman southpaw gave up a single to right center, a walk and then a hit by pitch.
Busch’s night would come to a close after the hit-by-pitch as Martin called on Geoff Parker out of the bullpen for the second time in as many games. And for the second straight night, Parker came through in the clutch getting a line out to left and a fly out to center to keep the game deadlocked at three.
In his second start of the season, Busch worked 5.1 innings allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits. He walked two and struck out three in earning the no decision.
“Brian had a good outing,” said Martin. “He did very well. Looking at his numbers, five hits in 5.1 innings against an outstanding team like Clemson, you have to be pretty pleased with his performance.”
The third Seminole error of the game led to the go-ahead run for the Tigers in the seventh. Following a dropped fly ball in left by McGee and a passed ball put runners at second and third with one out, Ben Paulsen brought home Johnson on a groundout to first to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. The inning came to a close two batters later as Parker got Schaus to pop up to Stephen Cardullo at short.
Clemson added another run in the eighth on a two-out bunt single by Johnson to give the Tigers a two-run lead. Johnson took the first pitch he saw from reliever Mark Peterson and laid down a bunt single towards first scoring Matt Sanders from third to make the score 5-3.
Holt tied the game with one swing of the bat in the eighth connecting on his second home run of the game. The Gainesville, Fla., native deposited a 3-1 offering from Tiger reliever Graham Stoneburner off the scoreboard in left to deadlock the game at five.
The game went to extra innings and in the tenth both schools put a runner on at third with one out and were unable to get the run across. Jimmy Marshall relieved Bo O’Dell and induced a pair of infield pop ups to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the inning with Danesh standing on third following a double off the fence in right and a sacrifice bunt by Lopez, Holt hit a groundball to short where Miller threw to the plate to get Danesh out at home.
Florida State and Clemson return to the diamond for the final game of a three game set on Sunday, March 22. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m. Sunday’s game will air live on FS Florida. Fans can listen to the action on 100.7 FM, while live stats will also be available via gametracker on www.seminoles.com.