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Three-run third inning carries Seminoles past Tigers
DURHAM, N.C. (theACC.com) – A few days and a change of venue made all the difference for Florida State.
Less than a week after being swept at home by Clemson in their regular season-ending three-game series, the fourth-seeded Seminoles turned the tables with a 3-1 win over the fifth-seeded Tigers as the pool play portion of the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship opened Wednesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
FSU starter Boomer Biegalski and two relievers prevailed in their matchup against ACC Pitcher of the Year Matthew Crownover, who lived up to his billing aside from one rocky inning. The Seminoles had just three hits, but all came in the third inning and led to three runs, and that proved to be enough.
Clemson (31-26, 0-1 Pool A) will face top-seeded and nationally second-ranked Louisville in Thursday’s 3 p.m. game as the Championship’s round-robin pool play continues. Florida State (38-19, 1-0) will meet eighth-seeded North Carolina on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Biegalaksi (6-4) worked 6.1 innings, allowing one hit and no runs while walking one and striking out seven. Dylan Silva worked one inning in relief for the nationally 10th-ranked Seminoles, and Billy Strode pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn his ACC-leading 13th save of the year.
Crownover (10-2) went eight innings, striking out eight batters and walking three in addition to the three hits and three runs allowed.
Neither team mustered a hit until FSU No. 9 hitter Taylor Walls’ one-out single in the bottom of the third, which proved to be a catalyst for the Seminoles. DJ Stewart delivered a two-out triple off the wall in left-center that just eluded the Tigers’ Reed Rohlman. That plated two runs, and Quincy Neiporte followed with an RBI-single to right field that made it 3-0.
The Tigers saw a major chance go for naught in the top of the seventh inning. Clemson loaded the bases with one out, prompting FSU coach Mike Martin to summon Silva from the bullpen. On Silva’s second pitch, he coaxed pinch-hitter Glenn Batson into a ground ball to Nieporte at first, who initiated a 3-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Clemson picked up its lone run in the eighth. A base hit by Steven Duggar, a walk to Tyler Krieger and another single by Rohlman loaded the bases with one out. Chris Okey’s RBI grounder to first base made it 3-1 before Strode – who had come on two batters earlier – struck out designated hitter Robert Jolly for the third out.