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Clemson sweeps FSU, wins ACC Atlantic Division

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Outstanding series win for Clemson, just outstanding. Clemson sweeps FSU by scores of 9-8, 8-4, and 8-3 and wins the Atlantic Division. Clemson has a #2 seed in the ACC Tournament next week. Clemson will be in a round-robin set with #3 GT, NC State and Virginia Tech. We swept NCSU and VT at home, and were swept by GT in Atlanta.

For the most part the series went exactly as we hoped. Jack finally took Brad Miller from SS and moved him to DH, and Jason Stolz took his place and both of them beat up an FSU pitching staff that was slightly better than ours (statistically) coming into the set.

  • I stated before the series that Clemson needed to control the top-heavy FSU lineup. For the series, the starting 1-2-3 hitters in the FSU lineup went 7-for-33 by my quick count. Tyler Holt went hitless in games 2 and 3 and Mike McGee had just one hit in the series, that coming on Sunday. Both guys hit over .350 in ACC play coming in.
  • Brad Miller went a combined 7-for-13 (5/5 Friday) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBIs as a DH. Jason Stolz hit 9th and came in with a poor average, and went 2-for-4 in each of the 3 games. Stolz made one error in Miller's stead in the 1st game of the series. Either of these guys should be series MVP.
  • With the top of the FSU order quieted, Clemson pitching did relatively well. Harman was decent Thursday night but his defense let him down a few times (6IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, 4BB, 8K). Clemson made 3 errors and committed a few more gaffes that weren't scored as errors. Scott Weismann had been rocked for the last month in his Saturday starts but was very good Friday; only his lack of control cost him (6.1 IP, 3 hits, 3R, 4 BB, 5K). Dominic Leone had big control problems Sunday (3BB in 3.1IP) but Alex Frederick did not have trouble with the FSU lineup (4.1IP, 1 hit, 0R, 2BB, 5K) and shut down any chance of FSU getting into it. Frederick did struggle a little in game one however (2.1IP, 3 R, 2 ER).
  • Frederick won both games 1 and 3 in relief, pushing his record to 6-1.
  • Clemson outhit FSU 36-21 and outscored the Noles 25-15 on the series.
  • Biggest Problem: Walks. 17 walks by Clemson pitching, 16 by FSU. Terribly high pitch counts and far too many walks from both sides this weekend. Many of the pitchers were trying to be "cute" and nibble on the corners, but Sunday's Umpire didnt have a clue on what an outside strike should be. He was terribly inconsistent (for both sides).
  • Clemson jumped ahead first in all 3 games of the set.
  • Kyle Parker went 4-for-13 with 4 runs scored and 1 RBI, with a couple critical strikeouts. He did make some good defensive plays in RF. Wilson Boyd went 5-for-9 with 1 HR, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI.

Short game recaps after the jump.

Game 1 was a back-and-forth affair with Casey Harman facing Sean Gilmartin, neither of whom have done particularly well of late as starters. It was a particularly ugly game on CSS if you did not get to see it. Neither team pitched well, and neither played good defense.

But every time the game would swing to FSU, the Tigers took it back, and I believe this one set up the other two. Had we lost here, I doubt we'd have swept this series. it was more a contest between FSU 1B Jayce Boyd (3/4, 2HR) and Brad Miller (5/5, 1HR, 3 RBI) and Miller's 8th inning double helped us score 3 in the bottom of the 8th to go ahead 9-8. 

Tomas Cruz finished it in the 9th for his 3rd Save. Frederick got the win (5-1) in relief of Harman.

Weismann and Haselden 5-hit the Noles in an 8-4 win in game 2. Weismann (W, 6-2) earned the win by allowing just three hits, three runs, and four walks with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. David Haselden pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing two hits and one run.

The Tigers took the game's first lead with six runs on five hits and three walks in the third inning. John Nester led off with a walk and Jason Stolz singled to right field. Brad Miller reached on a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Two batters later, Jeff Schaus walked to plate Nester, then Kyle Parker grounded a single through the right side to score Stolz and Miller. After John Hinson reloaded the bases with a single through the left side, Richie Shaffer belted a double to left-center to score Schaus, Parker, and Hinson.

The Seminoles responded with 2 in the 4th (one from a walk) and a homer to chase Weismann (after 2 walks) in the 7th, but it was enough of a lead for Haselden to finish off.

Shaffer went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, and a run to pace Clemson, who outhit Florida State 11-5. Boyd went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs, and a walk, while Stolz added two hits and a run.

Today's game was hideous from a pitching standpoint to start off. Neither John Gast or Dominic Leone could consistently throw strikes, and the rest of the FSU bullpen didnt either.  8 walks by FSU pitching and 5 by Clemson. Most of which I'd attribute to pitchers nibbling on corners and throwing in the dirt, and an Umpire who could not figure out what his outside strike would be.

The Tigers jumped ahead 3-0 in the 1st with a leadoff walk to Brad Miller, who advanced to 3rd on a Freeman single up the middle. Gast made life difficult on his catcher after that; he had no idea where his curve was going. His first WP got Miller home and Freeman to 2nd. Mike later scored on a Parker double and KP scored himself after the 2nd WP.

2 walks by Leone made it around to score to make it 3-2 CU heading to the bottom of the 3rd, but Clemson answered again with a 4-spot that put the game away. Jeff Schaus led off with a PERFECT bunt single that the 3rd baseman tried to barehand and couldnt come up with, and stole 2nd as KP and Hinson were striking out. With 2 outs Shaffer struck out swinging but the Catcher couldnt handle the curve and it bounced away for Gast's 3rd WP and Shaffer made it to 1st. Schaus made it to 3rd on the play. Shaffer stole 2nd and Wilson Boyd walked to load the bases before Gast was pulled. Tyler Everett came in, with a respectable ERA, and walked a run in. Stolz hit an infield grounder that ate up the SS and drove in Shaffer, then Miller hit a 2-run single to RF. FSU changed pitchers again, and he walked Mike Freeman. FSU changed pitchers AGAIN, and Schaus finally popped out to end the inning.

Leone was given a big 7-2 lead but couldnt make it out of the 4th because of his control. Alex Frederick came in and shut down FSU, killing their chance at a rally. Tomas Cruz finished it off again.