Richie Shaffer and John Hinson both hit home runs and David Haselden pitched 2.2 hitless and scoreless innings in relief to lead #15 Clemson to an 8-5 victory over #4 Florida State in front of 4,761 fans at Dick Howser Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers, who won the series 2-1, improved to 39-17 overall and 17-13 in the ACC. Clemson also ended the regular season by winning each of its last six ACC series. The Seminoles dropped to 40-15 overall and 19-11 in ACC play.
The Tigers scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead. James Ramey’s three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning cut Clemson’s lead to two runs. The Seminoles narrowed Clemson’s lead to one run with two runs in the eighth inning inning, but the Tigers added two insurance runs in the ninth inning and closed out the three-run win.
Haselden (5-1) pitched 2.2 hitless and scoreless innings to earn the win of in relief of starter Jonathan Meyer, who tied his career high with seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched. Scott Weismann retired all three batters he faced in the ninth inning to record his second save of the series and sixth of the season.
Starter Mike McGee (2-3) allowed two hits, five runs (four earned), and six walks with two strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched and suffered the loss.
The Tigers broke through to take the game’s first lead in the second inning without the benefit of a hit. Shaffer led off with a strikeout, but he reached on a wild pitch. Jeff Schaus walked, then Chris Epps drew another walk after being down in the count 0-2 to load the bases with no outs. Spencer Kieboom followed with a sacrifice fly to left-center to score Shaffer.
Shaffer belted the first pitch of the top of the fourth inning over the fence in left field for a solo homer, his 10th long ball of the season. Schaus and Epps followed with walks, then both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Kieboom flared a single to center to score Schaus and Epps scored when Taiwan Easterling booted the ball. After Jason Stolz’s groundout to second moved Kieboom to third base, Kieboom scored on Hinson’s sacrifice fly to center to give Clemson a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Rafael Lopez led off with a single high off the fence in right field and McGee walked. Ramsey then laced a three-run homer to right-center, his ninth home run of the year.
In the fifth inning, Will Lamb reached on a one-out, bunt single and stole second. Two batters later, Schaus flared a two-out single to left-center to score Lamb.
In the eighth inning, Jayce Boyd, who earlier extended his hitting streak to 12 games, hit a towering solo homer to left field, his fifth long ball of the season. Sherman Johnson followed with a double to right-center. Two batters later, Stuart Tapley grounded a two-out single up the middle to score Johnson and cut Clemson’s lead to 6-5. The Seminoles had been 1-for-25 with two outs in the series before Tapley’s single.
Hinson doubled the Tigers’ lead in the top of the ninth inning with a one-out, solo homer to right-center, his seventh home run of the season. It also extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Pinch-hitter Jon McGibbon followed with an infield single and pinch-runner Steve Wilkerson advanced to third base on Brad Miller’s single up the middle. Lamb reached on a fielder’s choice to third as Wilkerson scored and Miller was retired at second base.
Weismann retired the Seminoles in order in the bottom of the ninth inning to close out the Tigers’ three-run win.
Schaus paced the Tigers’ nine-hit attack by going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks. Kieboom added a team-high two RBIs.
Lopez, Boyd, and Johnson had two hits apiece for Florida State, who had eight hits in the contest.
Clemson will be the #6 in the ACC Tournament at Durham (NC) Bulls Athletic Park. The Tigers will play at least three games in the ACC Tournament, which starts on Wednesday. Clemson’s tourney schedule will be announced on Sunday.