DURHAM, N.C. – Rhett Aplin’s two-out, run-scoring single in the ninth inning broke a 4-4 tie and lifted No. 7 Florida State to a 5-4 victory over No. 4 Clemson in the ACC Tournament semifinal round at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Saturday night. The Seminoles, who advanced to Sunday’s championship game, improved to 42-17 overall and 3-0 in the tournament, while the Tigers, who saw their eight-game winning streak snapped, dropped to 45-14 overall and 2-1 in the tournament.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Drew Mendoza’s two-run home run. In the fourth inning, Kyle Wilkie led off with a single to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, becoming the seventh Tiger in history with a 25-game hitting streak. After Seth Beer walked, Chris Williams lined a three-run homer, his third three-run home run of the ACC Tournament and 17th long ball of the season, to give Clemson a 3-2 lead.
Florida State tied the score on a wild pitch with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, then Beer drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the lead back to the Tigers. Jackson Lueck led off the eighth inning with a homer to tie the score, then the Seminoles loaded the bases with no outs, but Ryley Gilliam pitched out of the jam to keep the score tied. In the ninth inning, Lueck walked with two outs, stole second base and scored on Aplin’s single up the middle.
C.J. Van Eyk (7-0) pitched the final 3.0 innings to record the win, while Gilliam (2-3) suffered the loss.
The 16 host sites for the NCAA Tournament will be announced on Sunday at 8:30 p.m., then the NCAA Selection Show is Monday at noon on ESPNU.
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