TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Behind another outstanding performance from sophomore Tyler Holton, Florida State (22-15, 8-9 ACC) knocked off No. 4 Clemson 7-3 Sunday afternoon to even the series. Holton pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing three runs and striking out nine. Offensively, FSU used home runs from Taylor Walls, Quincy Nieporte and Dylan Busby in beating the Tigers (30-6, 14-3).
“This game was obviously very important to us,” head coach Mike Martin said. “With our lineup, we have the ability to do what transpired today.
“It’s all about pitching and defense. You don’t make an error, the other team scores three – you have to be very pleased with Tyler Holton.”
Holton, a three-time ACC Pitcher of the Week this season, allowed a run in a shaky first inning, but with the bases loaded and one out, struck out Drew Wharton and forced a fly out from Andrew Cox.
Walls responded with his second leadoff home run of the week to tie the game. With two outs, Cal Raleigh singled home Rhett Aplin before Nieporte’s team-high seventh home run of the season gave FSU a 4-1 lead after one inning.
In the third, FSU got its final three runs off the bat of Busby. His three-run home run, also with two outs, scored Aplin and Raleigh and pushed FSU’s lead to 7-1.
With a six-run cushion, Holton allowed just two more runs – an RBI single to Logan Davidson in the fifth and a Seth Beer home run to open the sixth. Holton finished with nine strikeouts in eight innings on 123 pitches.
Senior Alec Byrd worked around a two-out single in the ninth, striking out Reed Rohlman to end the game.
Clemson starter Alex Eubanks (5-3) allowed a career-high seven earned runs in three innings. Alex Schnell and Owen Griffith held the Noles scoreless for the final five innings, allowing three hits and one walk.
The series finale will take place Monday at 7:00 p.m. on ESPNU, with Anish Shroff and Chris Burke on the call.
Eric Luallen will provide play-by-play audio on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee and nationwide on the FSU Gameday App.
– Taylor Walls’ home run in the first inning was his second leadoff home run this week (Tuesday vs. Florida). Prior to Tuesday, FSU’s last leadoff home run was from Sherman Johnson in the 2012 NCAA Regionals.
– Drew Mendoza (4-hole) and Quincy Nieporte (6-hole) hit in those spots for the first time this season. Nieporte hit his team-high seventh home run of the season in the first inning.
– Dylan Busby’s home run in the third inning was his fifth of the season. Busby’s 28 career home runs are the third-most among active ACC players. It was FSU’s fourth game this season hitting three home runs in a game.
– Clemson starter Alex Eubanks allowed seven earned runs, the most in his career.
– For the first time since the Notre Dame series, FSU did not allow a multi-run inning. Clemson got a single run in the first, fifth and sixth innings.
– Matt Henderson was 2-for-3 at the plate and is 5-for-7 in two games against Clemson. It is the first time he has had multiple hits in consecutive games at FSU.
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