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Florida State to face Clemson for ACC Baseball Championship
DURHAM, N.C. (theACC.com) – Florida State is returning to the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship title game.
Dylan Busby’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the fourth-seeded Seminoles past top-seeded Miami, 5-4, in the deciding game of pool play Saturday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
With its three-game sweep of Pool A opponents, Florida State (37-19) moved on to Sunday’s championship contest against Pool B winner Clemson (41-18). Due to the threat of inclement weather, the game is now scheduled for a 10 a.m. start and will still be televised nationally by ESPN2.
The Seminoles are seeking their seventh ACC title and will try to become the first team to repeat as league champion since Wake Forest did so in 1998 and 1999.
Despite the loss, the Hurricanes (45-11) remain in line for one of the coveted top-eight seeds in the NCAA tournament when those spots are unveiled on Saturday night. The full 64-team bracket will be announced on Monday.
Busby’s game-winning single capped a 4-for-5 day at the plate that also included a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Busby’s home run, coupled with Quincy Nieporte’s two-run single in the seventh, helped FSU take a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning. Nieoporte posted a 3-for-3 day before being forced to leave the game due to a hamstring injury.
But the Hurricanes loaded the bases against Seminole reliever Tyler Warmoth in the top of the nith via a hit batter and two walks. That set the table for Edgar Michelangeli, who had a game-winning three-run homer in Thursday night’s tournament win over NC State. Michelangeli came through again, rapping a two-run single to left-center that tied the score at 4-4.
But FSU countered by piecing together its game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Jackson Lueck led off with an infield hit off Devin Myer (1-1), and back-to-back walks loaded the bases. With one out, Busby lined his clutch single through the left side of the infield to score the game-winner.
Alec Byrd (1-0), who recorded the final out for the Seminoles in the top of the ninth, picked up the win on the mound. FSU received a quality start from freshman Tyler Holton, who established career highs with seven innings pitched and nine strikeouts while giving up seven hits and walking two. He departed in the top of the eighth with FSU in front 4-2.
Florida State’s John Sansone was hit twice by pitches on Saturday. He has now been hit 62 times in his collegiate career to set a new school record.
The Seminoles will be facing Clemson for the fourth time in less than a month when the teams meet in the title game on Sunday. The Tigers took two of three in the regular-season series April 30-May 2 at Clemson.