Tigers Fall to FSU in Game One

Aaron Cheesman's successful squeeze bunt in the ninth inning propelled #6 Florida State to a 5-4 victory in the first game of a doubleheader at Dick Howser Stadium on Sunday. The Seminoles, who took a 2-0 series lead, improved to 29-6 overall and 7-1 in the ACC. Clemson fell to 14-11 overall, 5-3 in ACC play.

Closer Tyler Chambliss (5-1) earned the win despite allowing the tying run in the ninth inning. Tiger David Kopp (2-3) suffered the loss despite pitching 6.0 innings and allowing just two runs, five hits, and one walk while striking out four.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, finally coming through in the clutch. After Herman Demmink blooped a leadoff single to center and advanced to second on Brad Chalk's sacrifice bunt, Tyler Colvin lined a two-out double off the wall in right field to score Demmink. Colvin, who was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in game one Saturday, gave the Tigers their first hit with runners in scoring position and first two-out hit in the series with his eighth double of the season.

Florida State responded with a run in the bottom of the first. Shane Robinson and Gibbs Chapman led off with walks, and Jack Rye lined a single to centerfield. But Brad Chalk threw a strike to throw out Robinson at the plate. Brant Peacher, however, singled through the right side to score Chapman.

Kris Harvey got out of a jam in the second inning to keep the score tied. He hit the first two batters, including the latter after he unsuccessfully attempted to bunt. But Harvey was able to strike out Bryan Henry (after he could not get a bunt down) and got Robinson to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. It was the first double play Robinson grounded into in 2005.

Clemson regained the lead in the third inning, thanks again to the bat of Colvin. Demmink led off with a single to right and went to second on a wild pitch. Taylor Harbin's sharp single through the left side advanced Demmink to third, and Colvin lifted a shallow fly ball down the left-field line. Shortstop Ryne Jernigan made the running catch, and Demmink just beat the throw at home to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

Like the first inning, the Seminoles answered a Tiger score, this time in the bottom of the third inning to take a one-run lead. Harvey hit Chapman to leadoff the inning, and Chapman went to second on a wild pitch. Cheesman then grounded a single through the left side on a 1-2 pitch, advancing Chapman to third. Harvey walked Rye to load the bases with no outs, and on came Kopp. The first pitch the freshman righthander from Margate, FL threw was wild, allowing Chapman to score. After another walk to load the bases, Ryne Malone hit an RBI groundout to second base to plate Cheesman. After Kopp struck out Tony Thomas, Jr. for out #2, Jernigan grounded out to third base to end the inning.

In the fourth inning, Robinson singled through the left side, upping his hitting streak to 40 games, one shy of the ACC record held by former Tiger Rusty Adkins (1965-66). He then stole second base after a perfect and on-time throw by Adrian Casanova was not handled by shortstop Stan Widmann. Robinson scored when Chapman laced a double off the wall in right field.

Harbin led off the sixth inning with a double down the left-field line, his 14th of the year. After Travis Storrer walked with one out, Harvey hit a 1-2 breaking pitch up the middle, scoring Harbin and forcing Head Coach Mike Martin to bring lefthander Matt DiBlasi in from the bullpen. DiBlasi walked Andy D'Alessio on four pitches to load the bases, and Widmann hit a ground ball to second base. Jernigan recorded the out and second, and first-base umpire A.J. Lostaglio ruled Widmann out on the double play despite television replays clearing showing he beat the throw to first base, as Florida State maintained a 4-3 lead.

Down a run entering the ninth, the Tigers clawed their way back. Harvey blooped a leadoff single to center and went to second on D'Alessio's sacrifice bunt. After Widmann struck out for out #2, Jesse Ferguson, who was inserted in left field in the eighth inning, lined a single off the wall in right field to bring home Harvey and tie the score.

Henry led off the ninth with a double on a 2-2 breaking pitch from Kopp. In came Stephen Clyne to face Robinson, who he intentionally walked. Chapman then hit a high fly ball to centerfield that David Williams lost in the sun. However he regrouped and threw a one-hop strike to record the force out at third base. But in a "heads-up" play, Robinson stole third as the Tiger infield was not paying attention after the play. Florida State then won the game on a squeeze bunt by Cheesman, plating Robinson. Cheesman's bunt to first would have ended up in foul territory had D'Alessio not attempted to make a tough flip with his glove to home.

Clemson and Florida State will face off again in the series finale and second game of a doubleheader Sunday at approximately 4:25 PM.

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