May 26, 2007
Jacksonville, Fla. – Third-ranked Florida State (47-11) suffered back-to-back losses for just the second time this season as the Seminoles fell to No. 15 Clemson (38-21) 5-1 on Saturday afternoon at the 2007 ACC Baseball Tournament. The loss eliminated the Seminoles from the tournament in Jacksonville as FSU finished the championship with a record of 1-2, marking the first time in school history that FSU has not won at least two games in the tournament. Jack Rye collected three hits and an RBI, while Tony Thomas, Jr. recorded two hits in the defeat.
Clemson handed Bryan Henry (14-1) his first loss of the season as the Tigers unloaded for four runs, two earned, on nine hits. The senior right hander struck out five and walked just one. The loss was Henry’s first since falling to Georgia in the NCAA Regional last year.
David Kopp moved his record to 6-2 as he pitched a complete game for the Tigers, the first by a Clemson pitcher this year. Kopp was just two outs away from shutting out the Seminoles for the first time since March 31, 2006, but an RBI double by Rye ruined that feat.
The Seminoles collected just six hits on Saturday tying the lowest output of the season. Rye and Thomas combined for five of the six hits, while Mark Gildea was responsible for the only other FSU hit.
Clemson broke through with a run in the bottom of the second to take an early 1-0 lead. With two outs, Addison Johnson hit a single up the middle scoring Taylor Harbin from second. The Tiger shortstop led off the inning with a single to right center and moved to second after Henry was called for a balk. After Harbin scored, J.D. Burgess hit a double down the line in left to place runners on second and third with two outs. But Henry got Brad Chalk to groundout to third to end the inning.
In the third inning, Thomas made Florida State history as he became the first Seminole to register 100 hits, 30 doubles and 30 stolen bases in a single-season. With two outs, Thomas recorded his second hit in as many at-bats with an infield single to third. On the very next pitch, Thomas swiped second for his 30th stolen base in 35 attempts this year. FSU could not get Thomas around to score as Hallberg groundout to short to close out the third.
The Tigers got another key two-out hit in the bottom of the fifth to push their lead to 2-0. Burgess led off the inning with his second double of the game finding the gap in right center. He then moved to third on a successful sacrifice bunt by Chalk. FSU looked as though they would get out of the inning unscathed after striking out Boyd and getting ahead of Marquez Smith with a 0-2 count. But the senior third baseman slapped a single to the right side just beyond the diving glove of Thomas to score Burgess for a two-run Clemson advantage.
Clemson pushed two more runs across in the sixth to push its lead to 4-0. A one-out error followed with by two singles and a walk ended the afternoon for Henry who lasted 5.1 innings, matching his shortest outing since February 23 against Appalachian State. After Harbin reached second on a throwing error by Hallberg, Doug Hogan singled to left driving in Harbin for the third run of the afternoon. Marshall was called on to replace Henry with one out and the bases loaded. The sophomore right hander got Burgess looking on strikes, but issued a bases loaded walk to Chalk to make the score 4-0.
The Tigers would add one more in the eighth on Chalk’s RBI triple off the wall in right center. Four of the five runs scored by Clemson on Saturday came on two outs.
Florida State avoided the shutout thanks to an RBI double by Rye in the ninth. After Buster Posey reached on a fielding error by Kopp, D’Vontrey Richardson came on to pinch run for Posey and would come around to score on Rye’s double to right center. Kopp recorded the final two outs to nail down the 5-1 victory.
The Seminoles will return to Tallahassee and await the announcement from the NCAA to see whether Florida State University will serve as a regional site host beginning Friday, June 1. The regional site announcement will occur on Sunday, May 27 at approximately 3:15 pm on ESPN. The field of 64 for this year’s NCAA Baseball Championship will be revealed on Monday, May 28 at 12:30 pm on ESPN.