FSU Drops Second Straight

Eighth-ranked Florida State (39-15, 18-11 ACC) lost for the second night in a row falling to No. 22 Clemson (36-19, 17-12 ACC) 8-4 Friday evening inside Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers took control of the game early thanks to a six-run third to draw within one game of the Seminoles for the lead in the ACC Atlantic Division

"It's amazing how good ball clubs take advantage of the little things," said Martin. "We slip on a bunt and six runs later you're wishing you had that out. We walked the eighth hitter to start the inning and it just mushroomed there. You got to take your hat off to Clemson; they did a good job tonight."

The division crown will come down to Saturday's regular season finale as the winner of the game claims the Atlantic Division and secures the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament which begins Wednesday, May 26 in Greensboro, N.C.

"I'll trust that we will come out tomorrow and get after it," said Martin. "This Clemson team is hot right now; they are just hot."

James Ramsey drove in half of FSU's runs in game two as the Alpharetta, Ga., native finished the night 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, a run scored and a walk. Ramsey's home run in the seventh was his eighth of the season while he has accounted for four of the last six Seminole home runs.

Clemson out hit Florida State 11-5 on Friday night as two of those five hits came in the ninth on back-to-back doubles by Sean Gilmartin and Justin Gonzalez.

The loss in game two also marked the first series loss for the Seminoles on the road in ACC play this season. The Garnet and Gold dropped to 13-7 away from Dick Howser Stadium and 9-5 in league play.

"I think that it is important to know that we came up here to win one game at a time," said Ramsey. "We were not content to take one of three. We got a ball club that is not satisfied with just winning one game. We haven't played our best baseball, but you have to give credit to them. This is probably the best two-game set they have played so far this year. They have had good pitching, great defense, great offense; they have hit the ball real well. As far as our team goes, we are focused more so on ourselves and realizing that to reach our potential, which we haven't done yet, we have to come out tomorrow and play with intensity."

FSU starter Brian Busch (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season as the Boca Raton, Fla., native lasted just 2.1 innings on Friday, his shortest outing as a starter. The sophomore southpaw was charged with a season-high six runs on six hits as he walked three and struck out two.

Clemson's Richie Shaffer, who led Clemson with three hits in game two, registered the first hit of the game as he dropped a two-out bloop single to center in the second. Busch was unfazed by the hit getting Wilson Boyd to ground out to second for the final out of the inning.

The Tigers grabbed a 6-0 lead after three innings sending 11 batters to the plate in the third. Clemson quickly loaded the bases off Busch as the first three batters reached on a walk and back-to-back singles. After Busch got Mike Freeman swinging on strikes for the first out, Jeff Schaus brought across the first run of the game drawing a walk. Kyle Parker gave the Tigers a three-run lead lacing a two-run single through the right side of the infield. Following a single to John Hinson, Shaffer cleared the bases with a double to the gap in left center to give the Tigers a 6-0 advantage. Busch's night would come to a close after issuing a walk to Boyd.

Hunter Scantling came on and got the Noles out of the inning without further damage inducing a pair of fly outs for the final two outs of the inning.

FSU answered with two runs in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-2. Tyler Holt led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on the first FSU hit of the game, an infield single off the bat of Sherman Johnson. Two batters later Ramsey ripped an RBI double to right scoring Holt for the first Seminole run of the evening. On the very next pitch from Clemson starter Scott Weismann (6-2), Gilmartin lifted a sac-fly to center scoring Johnson from third.

Scantling kept the Tigers off the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning despite giving up a one out double to Freeman. The sophomore right hander posted back-to-back strikeouts getting Schaus looking and Parker swinging to keep the score at 6-2.

Clemson pushed its lead back to six on a two-run home run to straight away center by Wilson Boyd. The Tiger centerfielder unloaded on a 2-0 pitch from Scantling for his fifth home run of the season.

Robby Scott started the sixth and retired the Tigers in order on three fly outs. The junior left hander replaced Scantling, who worked 2.2 innings as the only two runs he allowed came off the home run by Boyd. Scantling did not walk batter, while striking out four.

Ramsey recorded his second RBI of the evening as he hammered a solo shot to right. The Seminole outfielder took a 3-2 pitch from Weismann out of the park for his eighth home run of the season. Consecutive one out walks to Cardullo and Boyd ended the evening for Weismann after 6.1 innings. The junior right hander was charged with three runs on three hits as he walked four and struck out five in earning his sixth victory of the season.

Clemson reliever David Haselden came on and got Parker Brunelle to ground into an inning ending double play to keep the Tiger lead at 8-3.

Robert Benincasa worked 1.1 innings, while Tye Buckley finished things off getting the final two outs in the eighth. Both Seminole relievers did not give up a run in their work out of the bullpen.

The Noles got one run in the ninth for the final margin. Gilmartin registered a double down the line in left and scored one batter later on an RBI double to the gap in right center by Gonzalez.

The Seminoles return to the diamond for the final game of the series against the Tigers and the final game of the regular season on Saturday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m. The game will air live on Sun Sports, while fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.


Nole Digest Top Stories