TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With two outs in the top of the ninth inning and the go-ahead run 90-feet away, Clemson’s Seth Beer was not thinking when he came to plate. Instead, he felt comfortable.
“I was just trying to see it and hit it,” he said.
And that is what he did. The sophomore ripped a single to left centerfield, scoring Grayson Byrd and Chase Pinder for what turned out to be the game-winning runs in No. 4 Clemson’s 12-10 victory over 25th-ranked Florida State in Game 1 on Saturday at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.
“I was trying to dumb it down,” Beer said to The Clemson Insider. “These past couple of weeks, I have been thinking too much about it, but today I just went out had fun and enjoyed every bit of it.”
Beer, who was hitting just .252 coming into Game 1 of the three-game series, had fun alright. The Tigers’ star player had his first three-hit game in a month as he went 3-for-5 with a double, home run, two runs and 4 RBIs, and of course drove in the winning runs.
“I was just trying to see the ball and hit it,” he said. “I think the double leading up to that in a 1-2 count was good for me. It just kept me honest and coming up in that situation I finally barreled something up.”
Beer’s double came in the second inning when he drove in Chris Williams with a shot to right center field with two outs. Clemson (30-5, 14-2 ACC) plated seven runs in the inning, including six with two outs to take an 8-0 lead at the time.
After his double, Beer was even joking with his teammates about his hit.
“I said, ‘Wow! My bat has a barrel. I did not even know that.’ That was kind of fun, but it was just a great game for the whole team today,” he said.
The great day continued for Beer in the fourth inning when he led off with a solo home run to right centerfield which gave the Tigers a 10-1 lead at the time.
“I was just trying to take a deep breath before I got in the box and I just tried to slow everything down,” Beer said. “This crowd … it is an incredible atmosphere and stuff, and that can rev you up. I was just trying to calm myself down as much as I could.
“I looked into the outfield and a lot of guys were playing me real deep so I said, ‘Whatever I do, I have to keep it low and hopefully hit it where they are not’ and thankfully I did.”
The Seminoles (21-15, 7-9 ACC) rallied with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and then three more in the seventh to tie the game at 10. But that just set the stage for Beer, who came through with his two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth to give Clemson its seventh straight win.
“It was really an exciting experience,” Beer said. “Our team really fought hard and credit Florida State for coming back. They are a great ball club and they hung around.”
Fortunately for the Tigers, so did Beer, who was having a lot of fun.