DURHAM, N.C. — The Clemson Insider looks back at second-seeded Clemson’s 5-4 semifinal loss to sixth-seeded Florida State Saturday in the ACC Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.
The Seminoles (42-17) took the game’s first lead on a two-run homer in the top of the second inning. The Tigers (45-14) answered back in the bottom of the fourth. Kyle Wilkie led off the inning with a single and Seth Beer drew a walk before a three-run homer by Chris Williams gave Clemson a 3-2 lead. Florida State would tie the game at 3-3 on a two-out, run-scoring wild pitch in the top of the seventh but the Tigers answered right back when Beer worked a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the frame for a 4-3 lead. The Seminoles struck quickly in the eighth as a leadoff homer tied the game at 4-4 and Florida State would take the 5-4 win after a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth.
The game had several momentum swings, especially in the later innings, but the Seminoles had the final swing go in their favor. Jackson Lueck worked a two-out walk and was able to steal second base to get in score position for the game-winning single up the middle to send Florida State to the championship game on Sunday.
What went right?
Jake Higginbotham turned in a nice start, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts as he battled for 6.1 innings. Carson Spiers (0.2 IP) and Ryley Gilliam (2.0) both pitched well out of the bullpen, especially Gilliam who escaped a no-out, bases loaded jam in the eighth. Williams led all hitters with three hits while Wilkie extended his hitting streak to 25 games (only the seventh Clemson player with a streak that long).
What went wrong?
The Tigers missed several scoring chances, stranding nine runners in the game. In the sixth, Clemson had two runners in scoring position with only one out but could not get a sac fly or hit to bring them in while they were only able to get a single run out of a bases loaded, one-out situation in the seventh. The Tigers again put two runners in scoring position (with two outs) in the eighth but could not get the go-ahead hit.