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Clemson Sweeps FSU in Miracle Fashion

This past weekend the Florida State Seminoles came to town to take on the red-hot Clemson Tigers. FSU came into the matchup 19-0 while the Tigers came into the matchup 19-2. Clemson ace Tristan Smith surprisingly missed the series due to an injury diagnosis Friday which meant that sophomore Ethan Darden would take the ball early Saturday afternoon in the series opener.


The Noles got to a fast start with a grand slam in the 1st inning and seemed to be in control of the game early. But then Darden settled in and let the scary Clemson offense work behind him as the Tigers eventually run ruled the Noles by a score of 15-5 in 7 innings.


Austin Gordon got the ball for the second game in the doubleheader on Saturday where the Tigers scored first and took a 1-0 lead early. Florida State would quickly respond, however, and dominated much of the game behind another stellar Jamie Arnold start. With Clemson facing an 8-1 deficit heading into the 9th inning, most of Tiger Town thought the game was over. And yet the fans stayed in their seats.


The highly touted Clemson lineup proved their mettle and refused to quit against a top-15 Seminoles squad. With the lead cut to 8-4 with one out in the bottom of the ninth, the bases were loaded for senior third baseman Blake Wright. Florida State right hander Carson Dorsey reared back to throw the first pitch of a high pressure plate appearance. The veteran infielder from Belleair, Florida swung at the 95 MPH heater over the middle of the plate and his swing rang true around the confines of Doug Kingmore Stadium. The swing resulted in a monster fly ball to deep center that would just clear the wall for a grand slam. And just like that, the game was tied at 8-8.


A few moments later, with two runners on and two outs, Davidson transfer Jacob Hinderleider capped off the first miracle of the weekend after lining a ball into right field to score catcher Jimmy Obertop from second base. The Tiger players streamed from the dugout and mobbed Hinderleider just inside the infield dirt between first and second. Clemson had clinched the doubleheader and the series with a 9-8 win after a stunning eight run 9th inning. And on Sunday, they'd be going for the sweep.


Freshman Aidan Knaak took the mound for Clemson after his impressive start the previous weekend at Duke. After blowing leads in each of the first two games, the Noles were fired up and wanted to steal a game from the Tigers to avoid the sweep. As they did in game two, Florida State came out swinging, this time holding an 11-2 lead through the midway point of the 6th inning.


But that Clemson lineup just wouldn't quit as they responded by scoring five runs in the bottom of the 6th to trim the score to 11-7. In the top of the 7th, Florida State centerfielder Max Williams, having already been robbed of a home run the day before, found himself the victim of a second robbery when Tiger right fielder Alden Mathes leapt at the right field wall to snag a ball that was headed into the bleachers. We've yet to confirm if Williams has filed any charges with the Clemson police after those two outrageous plays this past weekend. The catch by Mathes was the defensive play of the game and kept the score at 11-7.


At this point, fans in the park and watching on television could almost see that magic brewing again for Clemson. But there was no way that Florida State would allow a second miracle, (w)right? Clemson scratched across two runs and had the bases loaded with two outs in the 7th when that hard hitting senior strode up to the plate yet again. Once again it was Carson Dorsey on the mound for Florida State facing Blake Wright of Clemson. Two Florida kids going head-to-head in a massive college baseball showdown. Although Dorsey's pitch was different, the result was the same. Wright blistered an 82 MPH 1-1 pitch to left field at 106 MPH for another grand slam. And just like that, Clemson had erased a nine run deficit.


Clemson would go on to win the game and complete the sweep. In the series, Florida State had managed to blow leads of 4-0, 8-1, and 11-2 in consecutive games. Blake Wright homered in all three games and garnered ACC Player of the Week honors after an incredible five game stretch that saw him more than double his RBI total from 19 to 40 on the year. Clemson has shown all season that they can find different ways to win and proved they were a Top-5 program. Even nothing else, this past weekend's miracles proved that this Tiger team might have more than just a little magic on their side. We'll see if that magic can help them on their way to Omaha.



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