It was not the outcome sixth-ranked Clemson was hoping for as 15th-ranked Florida State defeated the Tigers 3-2 in 13 innings Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
In the top of the 13th, Steven Wells hit a solo home run off of Clemson closer Ryley Gilliam for what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Although Gilliam suffered the loss, he pitched a strong four innings which was his longest outing on the mound since February 24, 2017, where he went 4 1/3 innings against Elon.
In those four innings Saturday night, Gilliam allowed just the one run on three hits, four walks and struck out seven.
“I had a little bit of adrenaline going (in the 13th inning),” Gilliam said after the game. “I knew we had Logan (Davidson), Seth (Beer) and Chris Williams up that next half inning so I was just trying to get us off of the field and execute, but that’s baseball, I got hit.”
Wells, Florida State’s lead-off batter, was 0-for-6 on the night going into his last at bat and in a 1-2 count with two outs he drove a pitch above the belt into left field.
“I think I executed (the pitch) well but at the end of the day he’s up there trying to hack to do what he did,” Gilliam said. “The only thing I can say is they are a solid offense and just the third time through the lineup they picked up on my tendencies so I think that played into him getting that hit.”
Clemson head coach Monte Lee left Gilliam in knowing he gave the Tigers the best chance to win Game 1 of their three-game series with the Seminoles. Gilliam ended up throwing a total of 92 pitches so he will be done for the rest of the weekend.
“I told Ryley I was very proud of him,” Lee said. “Once he got to about pitch number 45 or 50 we knew he was done for the weekend so we might as well roll with him.
“He gave us the best shot to win the ballgame. We put all of our chips on the table trying to win the game tonight by keeping him out there and he pitched his butt off.”
Despite suffering the loss, Gilliam says he feels better physically than he ever has. He has really focused on taking care of his body off of the field which has led to his recent success and he hopes it will continue to lead him to even more.
Before Saturday, the junior had five saves in his last five appearances. He came in with the game tied at 2 with two outs in the ninth inning.
“I’ve been taking care of my body of the field,” he said. “I’ve been getting plenty of sleep, working out, and eating right so just continuing that process and hopefully that will lead to more success later on.”