Clemson scored eight runs in the first four innings and Alex Frederick tossed 4.2 scoreless innings in relief of one-hit ball to lead #22 Clemson to an 8-3 win over #7 Florida State in front of 5,108 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, the Tigers finished the regular season tied with the Seminoles for first place in the ACC Atlantic Division with an 18-12 record.
By virtue of the Tigers’ three-game sweep over Florida State, Clemson captured its first division title since 2006 and improved to 37-19 on the season. The Seminoles, who suffered their first three-game losing streak since early March of 2009 and their first three-game sweep since the Tigers swept Florida State in 2006, fell to 39-16.
Frederick (6-1) earned the win in relief by pitching 4.2 strong innings. He allowed just one hit, no runs, and two walks with five strikeouts. The junior righthander from Lagrangeville, NY also improved to 6-0 in his last seven appearances (one start). Frederick, starter Dominic Leone, and Tomas Cruz combined to limit Florida State to 0-for-7 with two outs and 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
John Gast (6-3), the first of seven Seminole hurlers, suffered the loss. He gave up four hits, six runs, and three walks with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings pitched. Geoff Parker and Scott Sitz both pitched 2.0 hitless and scoreless innings in relief as well.
Jack Leggett post game audio:
Alex Frederick post game audio:
Wilson Boyd post game audio:
Dan Pepicelli postgame audio:
The Tigers took the game’s first lead in the first inning thanks in part to two wild pitches. Brad Miller led off with a walk and advanced to third on Mike Freeman’s single up the middle. Miller scored and Freeman moved to second on a wild pitch, then Jeff Schaus grounded out to advance Freeman to third base. Kyle Parker laced a double to left-center to score Freeman. After Parker moved to third on John Hinson’s groundout, he scored on another wild pitch to give Clemson a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, Parker Brunelle and Devon Travis led off with walks, then Tyler Holt flied out to right field to move Brunelle to third base. Sherman Johnson bounced a single through the right side to score Brunelle and advance Travis to third. Johnson was caught stealing at second base, but Travis scored from third on the throw to second base to cut Clemson’s lead to 3-2.
The Tigers responded with four two-out runs in the bottom of the third inning. Schaus led off with a walk. The next two Tigers struck out, then Richie Shaffer struck out but reached on a wild pitch to extend the inning. Wilson Boyd walked to load the bases, then John Nester walked on a 3-2 pitch to plate Schaus. Jason Stolz reached on an infield single to score Shaffer, then Miller singled to right field to score Boyd and Nester.
In the top of the fourth inning, James Ramsey led off with a walk. Two batters later, Stephen Cardullo lofted a double to right-center to advance Ramsey to third. Jayce Boyd reached on a fielding error by Hinson at third as Ramsey scored, then Brunelle walked to load the bases with one out. But Travis struck out and Holt flied out to keep the Tigers ahead 7-3.
The Tigers used another clutch two-out hit to add to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hinson lined a one-out single down the right-field line and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Boyd was intentionally walked, Nester grounded a two-out single up the middle to score Hinson.
Neither team dented the scoreboard again after the fourth inning.
Stolz had a team-high two hits and an RBI to pace Clemson, who outhit Florida State 8-6. Miller added a single, two RBIs, one run, two walks, and a steal for the Tigers, who won their eighth straight regular-season finale (2003-10).
Johnson and Cardullo had two hits apiece to lead Florida State.
The Tigers earned their fourth three-game sweep of the season thanks to outhitting Florida State .343 to .216 and totaling 36 hits to the Seminoles’ 21. Boyd led Clemson by going 5-for-9 (.555) with a homer, four RBIs, and four walks, while Miller went 7-for-13 (.538) with a homer, double, five RBIs, six runs, and two walks. Stolz also proved to be a spark plug, as he was 6-for-12 in the series.
Clemson will be the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC from May 26-30. The other seeds are #1 Virginia, #3 Georgia Tech, #4 Miami (FL), #5 Forida State, #6 Virginia Tech, #7 N.C. State, and #8 Boston College. The Tigers will be in Bracket B with Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and N.C. State, meaning Clemson will play each of those three teams during a four-day stretch between Wednesday and Saturday. Clemson had a 12-6 record during the regular season against teams in the 2010 ACC Tournament and a 6-3 record against teams in its bracket. Game dates and times will be announced by the ACC Office on Sunday.