May 18, 2002
CLEMSON, SC – Florida State used another big fifth inning to take a commanding lead and cruise to a 12-3 victory Saturday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The second-ranked Seminoles improved to 50-12 overall and 17-6 in the ACC while dropping the top-ranked Tigers to 44-11 overall and 16-7 in the ACC.
After scoring six runs in the fifth inning on Friday, Florida State broke open Saturday’s game with seven runs in the fifth. The Seminoles earned their 16th straight win and is the first team to take a series at Clemson in 2002.
Blair Varnes (7-3) earned his 38th career win for Florida State, allowing only two earned runs and six hits over 7.2 innings while striking out seven and walking three. Matt Henrie (10-3) allowed seven runs, including three earned, over 4.2 innings in getting the loss for Clemson.
Jeff Baker started the scoring in the second inning with a towering shot to right field. The solo home run was his team-leading 21st of the season and 55th of his career, extending his own school record and good enough for a seventh place tie in ACC history. The Seminoles tied the score at one in the top of the third when Mike Futrell’s groundout scored Richie Smith.
Clemson retook the lead in the third. David Slevin led off the inning with a double and scored on an error by Florida State first baseman Jerrod Brown for a 2-1 lead. Florida State answered again in the fourth and took its first lead of the game. After consecutive singles by Tony McQuade and Ryan Barthelemy, the runners scored on a Brown groundout and Tony Richie’s single through the left side to put the Seminoles on top 3-2.
Florida State chased Henrie with seven unearned runs in the fifth inning. Stephen Drew’s hit an RBI-single to center and scored on a groundout by Barthelemy. With two outs, Blair McCaleb singled in a run before reliever Jeff Hourigan entered the game. The freshman gave up four straight hits, including an RBI-single to Brown, an RBI-double down the left field line to Richie, a two-run single to Smith and an RBI-double to Bryan Zech. Thomas Boozer recorded the last out of the inning, but not after Florida State took a 10-2 advantage.
The Seminoles added a run in the sixth before Clemson scored a run in the eighth on Jarrod Schmidt’s groundout. Florida State’s Richie hit a solo home run in the ninth to make the final margin 12-3.
Khalil Greene extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a single in the third inning, but no Tiger had more than one hit on the evening.
Florida State can clinch the regular season ACC Championship with a win in Sunday’s game three. Freshman Tyler Lumsden (2-0, 4.50 ERA) will take the hill for Clemson while Marc LaMacchia (8-1, 3.44 ERA) will start for Florida State.
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