Tigers, who moved to 1-1 in the ACC Tourney and won their third game in four
meetings with the top-ranked Seminoles this season, improved to 33-25. The
Seminoles, who fell to 0-2 in the ACC Tournament, dropped to 43-14 in 2012.
Florida State scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. Clemson
scored a run in the fourth inning and two more runs in the fifth to narrow Florida
State’s lead to 5-4. Two, two-out singles by Florida State in the top of the eighth
inning gave it a 7-4 lead, but Spencer Kieboom’s two-run single in the bottom of the
eighth inning cut its lead to one run again. Two one-out singles in the ninth
inning set up McGibbon’s walkoff blast, keeping the Tigers alive for the ACC
McGibbon’s walkoff homer was Clemson’s second in ACC Tournament history and first
since April 24, 1981, when Jimmy Key hit a walkoff solo homer in the 10th inning to
give Clemson a 6-5 victory over Wake Forest in Chapel Hill, NC. It was also the
Tigers’ 23rd all-time walkoff home run and McGibbon’s second career walkoff hit.
McGibbon’s walkoff single in the 10th inning against Coastal Carolina on April 5,
2011 gave the Tigers a 5-4 win.
Freshman righthander Patrick Andrews (2-3) retired all four batters he faced with
one strikeout to earn the win.
Robert Benincasa (4-1) suffered the loss, as he gave up four hits and three runs
with two strikeouts in 1.0 innings pitched. The Seminole closer had been nearly
unhittable all season. He had 13 saves while allowing only 16 hits and two earned
runs in 32.0 innings pitched prior to Friday’s game. Clemson had been 0-21 when
trailing entering the ninth inning in 2012, while Florida State had been 38-0 when
leading entering the ninth inning and 36-0 when leading entering the eighth inning.
The Tigers took the game’s first lead in the second inning. Jason Stolz drew a
two-out walk and stole second. Brad Felder reached on a fielding error by
second-baseman Devon Travis, allowing Stolz to score.
In the third inning, Jose Brizuela led off with a single to center and moved to
second on Sherman Johnson’s groundout to first. Devon Travis lined a 1-2 pitch at
third-baseman Richie Shaffer, but he could not come up with the catch and Brizuela
scored on the double. James Ramsey followed with a line-drive single to center on a
1-2 pitch to score Travis. Boyd laced a 1-2 pitch to left field for a single, then
Stephen McGee walked on four pitches to load the bases. Justin Gonzalez followed
with a single through the right side to plate Ramsey. Boyd then scored on a balk to
give Florida State a 4-1 lead.
After Clemson got out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam without allowing a run in the
top of the fourth inning, the Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the fourth
inning. Phil Pohl led off with a double to left-center on a 1-2 pitch and scored
two batters later on McGibbon’s one-out double down the right-field line.
McGibbon’s two-bagger broke Clemson’s 0-for-28 slump with runners in scoring
position over a five-game span.
Gonzalez led off the top of the fifth inning with an opposite-field home run to
right field, his eighth long ball of the season.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Thomas Brittle lined a two-out double to right
field and scored on Shaffer’s flyball double to right field. Pohl followed with a
bouncer to Gonzalez at short, who misplayed the ball. The error allowed Shaffer to
The Seminoles added two runs to their lead in the top of the eighth inning. Johnson
and Travis drew two-out walks. Ramsey belted a 2-2 pitch off the wall in right
field for a single to score Johnson. Boyd followed with a line-drive single to left
field on a 1-2 pitch to plate Travis.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, pinch-hitter Joe Costigan led off with a bloop
single to left field and McGibbon followed with a line-drive single to center.
Stolz reached on a fielder’s choice as pinch-runner Tyler Slaton was retired at
third base, then Felder walked to load the bases. Kieboom bounced a single through
the left side to score McGibbon and Stolz. However, the next two Tigers were
retired to keep Florida State ahead 7-6.
Pohl grounded an 0-2 pitch up the middle for a one-out single in the ninth inning.
Pinch-hitter Mike Dunster reached on an infield single to first. McGibbon then
belted an 0-1 breaking ball over the wall in right-center for a three-run homer, his
fifth long ball of the season and second of the ACC Tournament.
McGibbon led Clemson’s 11-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with a homer, double, four
RBIs, and two runs. Kieboom went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Pohl added two hits
and a run.
Boyd went 3-for-5 with an RBI to lead Florida State, who also totaled 11 hits.
Ramsey and Gonzalez both added two hits and two RBIs.
The win over the top-ranked Seminoles was Clemson’s third over a #1-ranked team in
2012 (all against Florida State) and 15th in school history.
Clemson will take on #8-seeded Georgia Tech on Saturday at 11:00 AM in the ACC
Tournament. A Georgia Tech win would send the Yellow Jackets to the ACC title game
on Sunday. A Clemson win and a Florida State win over Virginia on Saturday
afternoon would send the Tigers to the ACC Championship game. A Tiger win and a
Cavalier win over the Seminoles would send Virginia to the ACC title game.