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Florida State Downs Clemson 9-4 in ACC Tournament

Florida State Downs Clemson 9-4 in ACC Tournament

May 23, 2002

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Top-seeded Florida State overcame an early 4-0 deficit to defeat fourth-seeded Clemson 9-4 Thursday at the ACC Tournament in St. Petersburg, FL. The Seminoles (53-12) defeated the Tigers (45-13) for the fourth time in seven days behind the pitching effort of Matt Lynch. Lynch (13-1) earned the win for Florida State by going the distance, allowing only one earned run on seven hits while striking out nine and walking none.

Clemson jumped on top with three singles up the middle in the second inning. After Russell Triplett singled, David Slevin celebrated his 21st birthday with a two-out shot that scored Johnson. Florida State center fielder Richie Smith tried to prevent Triplett from advancing to third, but his throw went into the stands along the third base line, allowing Triplett to score. The Tigers continued the scoring when Steve Pyzik grounded to first base but Jerrod Brown’s toss pulled covering pitcher Matt Lynch off the bag, allowing Slevin to come home. Roberto Valiente then plated Pyzik with a triple to the gap in right center for a 4-0 lead.

Florida State got on the board and did most of its damage in the fifth. The Seminoles, which scored six and seven runs in the fifth inning in two games at Clemson last weekend, started with three straight singles to lead off the inning. Mike Futrell’s base hit to left scored Brown and put runners on the corners with no outs. After a walk to Richie Smith to load the bases, Bryan Zech’s sacrifice fly scored Tony Richie. Stephen Drew followed with an RBI-souble that cut the Tiger lead to 4-3. Tony McQuade tied the score with a sacrifice fly and Ryan Barthelemy’s single gave the Seminoles a 5-4 lead while knocking Henrie out of the game.

After a double by Richie with one out in the sixth, Futrell singled him home to give the Seminoles a 6-4 lead and an RBI-single by Barthelemy in the seventh pushed the advantage to 7-4. Barthelemy went to work again in the ninth with a two-run homer to right that made the final margin 9-4.

Matt Henrie (10-4) got the loss for Clemson. The Jupiter, FL native allowed just one hit in the first four innings but finished with 4.2 innings pitched, five runs allowed on six hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

Johnson and Triplett led the offense as the only Tigers with two hits. Khalil Greene, who entered the game with a hit in his last 23 games, was hitless until the eighth inning. In the eighth, he took a 2-2 pitch down the third base line for a double. The hit was the 379th of his career, which ties him for second in NCAA history. His 24-game hitting streak is tied for the third longest in Clemson history and tied for the longest hitting streak in one season. The senior also tied Bert Heffernan for the Clemson record with 259 career games played at the school.

Clemson will next play #7 seed NC State Thursday at noon where the loser will be eliminated from the ACC Tournament.