I had a good feeling coming into this series, even with FSU ranked so highly and playing so well. They've pretty much dominated their schedule aside from Kevin O, but they've done that well before and gotten spanked in Clemson. This weekend the Tigers came in playing our best ball of the season and we put a licking on #1 FSU. If we had had more pitching depth we might have swept the series outright.
Game 1 - Clemson 7 FSU 2
Brad Felder, Shaffer and Spencer Kieboom all homered and Clemson battered touted frosh Brandon Leibrandt for 4 runs in 5 2/3 Friday night. This was Clemson's first victory over a #1-ranked team since 2010 vs Arizona State.
The Seminoles held a 2-0 lead until Felder's solo homer in the fifth inning. Then in the 6th, Shaffer lined a solo shot to tie it before Kieboom untied the score with a two-out, three-run homer. Pohl later added on a 2-run 2B in the 7th. Pohl led the offense by going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Stolz added two hits and a run, while Kieboom had a game-high three RBIs on his three-run homer.
Leone got the start and did well enough, giving up 2 runs in 5 innings before being yanked too quickly. Daniel Gossett came in and finished the contest, getting his 6th W with 4 IP and no runs allowed. Both pitchers stifled FSU's lineup with runners on base, and FSU stranded 14 in the game. Only 2 of 19 total baserunners scored.
Rain threats caused Clemson to first move up the Sunday game, then cancel it and play the doubleheader on Monday. Without Campbell or Brady available, we had no choices later in the day, and our starters did not go the distance....which isnt surprising because Jack wouldn't let them even if they were pitching well.
Game 2 - Clemson 9 FSU 7
Clemson jumped out early and pounded FSU standout frosh Mike Compton, who could not get out of the 2nd inning. He yielded six hits, six runs (three earned), and one walk with one strikeout in 1.1 innings pitched.
In the 2nd inning Clemson batted around thanks to two errors by FSU and scored 5 runs. McGibbon led off with an infield single and Kieboom reached on a throwing error by the 3B. Felder singled, scoring McGibbon. Then Wilkerson smacked a double into the alley to score 2. Brittle was hit by a pitch, and then both Wilkerson and Brittle ran a double steal, then Wilkerson scored when the throw to 3rd was awful. Richie Shaffer walked, Pohl struck out, and Baum was intentionally walked to load the bases, McGibbon drew a two-out walk on nine pitches to score Brittle.
In the 4th Clemson plated 3 more runs to make it 9-1. After that, we were just holding on. Pohle (W, 6-2) started and did very well, going 6 and only giving up 1 earned run out of 3 (thanks to a Shaffer error). He was replaced by JoMo in the 7th, who did his usual and looked very shaky, putting two on base for Bates, who walked a batter and was replaced by Firth. Firth managed to get out of the inning, barely, after a Sac Fly.
Firth was thereafter holding on for dear life and gave up 2 more in the 9th before finishing it with a strikeout.
Felder was the only Tiger to register multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Kieboom and Wilkerson added 2 RBI's apiece.
Game 3 - FSU 9 Clemson 5
Meyer started and was horrible from the beginning. An MLB scout sat in front of me writing down notes on Meyer, and did not appear to be at all pleased with his command. The Noles loaded the bases in the first and scored 2 runs, loaded and failed to score in the 2nd, and plated 4 runs in the 3rd inning to make it 6-0. How Meyer got out of the 2nd without giving up another run, given that his pitches were fooling nobody, was a small miracle.
Meyer was replaced by Patrick Andrews, who was similarly shaky but put together a relatively strong outing, finishing the contest with 6 2/3 IP and 3 runs allowed. He wasn't really fooling any batters either but managed to get more of them out. Patrick and Jonathan probably combined to put 20 bruises on Spencer Kieboom because neither could get his pitches to the mitt. Jack had arms up in the pen but with Haselden needed to start tonights game vs Furman in the last home game, he didn't have many options.
This is where Clemson is at a real disadvantage going into the ACC Tournament and the NCAAs....and it appears Brady may not be ready for the Tournament. He has just started a throwing regimen.
FSU starter Luke Weaver looked very solid to me in 4 IP, but I had not heard why he was removed from the game. He wasn't dominating, but we weren't hitting him hard either, yet he did not appear in the 5th. FSU brought in another fat pitcher, Hunter Scantling, who the Tigers touched up for a 3 run homer in the 6th for our final scoring.
Clemson's offense looked a bit lethargic in this game, as if the contest didn't matter enough now that they'd taken the series.
The scouts drooled over Robert Benincasa, who finished the game for Florida State.
Richie Shaffer went 2-for-5 but struck out thrice. Stolz went 2-for-4 with the 3-run shot and 4 RBIs in the game.
Coming into this series we expected to have a tough time with dual .400ish hitters Jayce Boyd and James Ramsey, but Clemson keyed on them and held them down well enough to get the Ws. Ramsey went 2 for 9 in the series and Boyd 3 for 12.
The Tigers finished off Furman tonight 9-2, with Haselden getting the win after 7.2IP and 2 runs allowed in the home finale. Clemson will face Wake Forest next weekend before the Tournament.