May 22, 2010
CLEMSON, S.C. – Eighth-ranked Florida State (39-16, 18-12 ACC) wrapped up its regular season schedule falling to No. 22 Clemson (37-19, 18-12 ACC) 8-3 Saturday afternoon inside Doug Kingsmore Stadium. With the loss, the Seminoles and Tigers finished tied a top the ACC Atlantic Division with the tiebreaker going in favor of the Tigers after winning all three games in the final weekend of the regular season.
“We just ran into a hot ball club this weekend,” said head coach Mike Martin. “They did everything they needed to do to win. They played very well.”
Clemson’s three-game sweep marked the fifth time the Tigers have held the Seminoles without a win inside Doug Kingsmore Stadium with the last series sweep coming in 2006.
“It’s really disappointing, we haven’t been swept by a team all season long,” said Johnson. “You have to give Clemson credit, they came in focused, ready to play and were really hot this weekend. It just didn’t seem like things went our way this weekend.”
With the win, the Tigers secured the No. 2 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., which begins Wednesday, May 26 with the Seminoles claiming the No. 5 seed. Florida State will open the conference tournament facing No. 4 Miami at a date and time to be determined on Sunday, May 23.
The Tiger pitching staff held the Seminoles to six hits in the series finale with two of those hits coming in the ninth. Clemson outhit FSU 8-6 on Saturday.
Sherman Johnson and Stephen Cardullo were responsible for four of the six hits as both Seminole hitters finished the afternoon 2-for-4. Johnson registered a pair of singles in his first two at-bats, while Cardullo doubled in the fourth and singled in the ninth.
Johnson registered the first hit of the game with a single through the left side in the first off Clemson starter Dominic Leone but was stranded at first after the Tiger right hander got McGee swinging on strikes and James Ramsey to groundout to second for the final two outs of the inning.
Clemson wasted little time cracking the scoreboard on Saturday scoring three in the bottom of the first to grab a 3-0 lead. Brad Miller drew a walk off FSU starter John Gast to start the game and moved to third on a single up the middle by Mike Freeman. Both runners would advance a base with Miller scoring as Gast unleashed the first of two wild pitches. After a groundout back to the mound moved Freeman to third, Kyle Parker drove him home on a double to the gap in left center. Parker scored the third run of the inning on a second wild pitch from Gast.
The Tigers threatened with a two-out rally in the bottom of the second as Jason Stolz reached on an infield single and Miller drew his second walk in as many at-bats. But Gast got out of the inning unscathed getting Freeman to ground into fielder’s choice put out at second.
FSU cut the deficit to 3-2 scoring a pair of runs in the top of the third. Walks to Parker Brunelle and Devon Travis to open the inning came back to haunt Leone as both runners eventually scored. Brunelle scored from third on an RBI single through the right side by Johnson for the first Seminole run of the game. With runners at the corners, the Noles put on the double steal with Johnson being thrown out at second and Travis scoring from home.
Clemson broke the game open with another big third inning as all four runs scored in the inning came with two outs as the Tigers increased their lead to 7-2. The Orange and Purple registered just three hits including two infield singles, but took advantage of three walks while sending 10 batters to the plate. After Jeff Schaus led off the inning with a bunt single to third, Gast recorded three consecutive strikeouts but on the third strikeout Richie Shaffer kept the inning alive reaching on a wild pitch. A walk to Wilson Boyd loaded the bases and prompted the first of three pitching changes in the inning for the Garnet and Gold.
Tyler Everett was the first reliever out of the pen as he faced just three batters. The junior right hander issued a bases loaded walk to John Nester plating the first Tiger run of the inning. Stolz followed with an infield single to short, while Miller provided the big blow with two-run single to right.
Tye Buckley became the third pitcher of the inning and walked the only batter that he faced before Martin went to the bullpen for a third time in the inning bringing on Robby Scott. The junior southpaw left the bases loaded as he induced a pop up to short off the bat of Schaus for the final out of the inning.
Gast was charged with six runs on four hits as he walked three and struck out three in falling to 6-3 on the season.
The Seminoles plated a run in the fourth to cut the lead to 7-3 but missed a golden opportunity to add more runs leaving the bases loaded. Ramsey led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a one out double to the gap in the right center by Cardullo. Following a Clemson pitching change, Jayce Boyd brought home Ramsey on a fielding error at third by Hinson. After a walk to Brunelle loaded the bases, Alex Frederick got the Tigers out of the jam getting Travis swinging on strikes and Tyler Holt to fly out to center.
The Tigers got the run back in the bottom half of the inning with yet another timely two-out base hit. With runners at first and second following a hit and an intentional walk, Nester ripped a single back up the middle off Daniel Bennett to plate Hinson to give Clemson an 8-3 lead.
Frederick did an outstanding job out of the bullpen working 4.2 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and two walks as he struck out five.
Geoff Parker worked two scoreless innings for the Seminoles as he did not allow a hit. The junior right hander walked two and struck out a pair.
Scott Sitz turned in a fine performance out of the bullpen as the freshman right hander faced the minimum over his 2.0 innings of work. Sitz did not allow a hit or a walk while striking out two.
Tomas Cruz completed the series sweep working a scoreless ninth. Despite giving up two hits in the inning, Cruz got the final two outs of the game as he got pinch hitter Sean Gilmartin to ground into a game ending double play.
“You have to credit Clemson,” said Cardullo. “They took advantage of every mistake we made. That’s baseball and they did their job of making us pay for our errors this weekend.”
The Seminoles now head to Greensboro, N.C. for the 2010 ACC Baseball Tournament which begins Wednesday, May 26. Florida State will face Miami in the first game of pool play at a date and time to be determined on Sunday, May 23. Joining the Seminoles and Hurricanes in their side of the bracket are #1 Virginia and #8 Boston College. For further updates on the Seminole Baseball team and the ACC Tournament, stay tuned to www.seminoles.com.