May 13, 2007

FSU: 'Noles can't' finish, Tigers take series

After a promising four-run seventh inning, No. 16 Clemson blanked No. 2 Florida State in the last two innings to make their 11-6 triumph official. Clemson takes the series with the win, while the Seminoles suffer their first three-game series loss of the season. The 'Noles (43-9, 21-6 ACC) have have only themselves to blame after blowing a five-run lead in game two.

Andy D'Alessio was the difference for the Tigers (34-18, 17-10 ACC), tagging two home runs in the rubber match and accounting for five of Clemson 11 RBI. D'Alessio and the Tigers can now take credit for two of the Seminoles' four losses at home this season.

Sophomore D.J. Mitchell (4-0) picks up the win for the Tigers after pitching six innings and allowing five hits and four earned runs with five strikeouts.

Florida State pitching continues to struggle through the month of May after a great start to the season. The Tribe surrendered a combined 11 runs on 12 hits from the mound, with eight coming against freqent starters Ryan Strauss (8-2) and Michael Hyde (9-2). As a result FSU was once again forced to dig in the bullpen, using seven pitchers in the contest, an obvious concern for Mike Martin and the Seminoles heading into postseason play.

With a Virginia loss to NC State, however, the Seminoles do clinch the No. 1 seed in the upcoming ACC tournament.

FSU: 'Noles show signs of life

A heavy smoke has drifted over the ballpark but we're still trying to get word in the press box as to whether it's more remants of wildfire or if it's the rust burning off Florida State bats.

Tony Thomas Jr. gave the Seminoles something to cheer about with a two-run shot, and the 'Noles scored a total of four runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 10-6 Tigers. First baseman Brandon Reichert hit an RBI double in the rally and Mark Hallberg hit a double and scored on a wild pitch as the Tribe begins to fight for a late come back.

FSU did miss an opportunity to cut Clemson's lead further after leaving runners on second and third, and just gave up another run to make it 11-6. The 'Noles are up again, let's see how this one plays out.

FSU: When it rains it pours

The Seminoles tried sophomore pitcher Bo O'Dell, but that didn't work either. The right hander lasted 1/3 of an inning and was pulled shortly after giving up a two-run homer to series MVP Andy D'Alessio, who made it 10-2 in favor of the Tigers.

For D'Alessio the homer was his second of the game and third of the series. He has five RBI today on three hits and now has 11 multi-home run games in his career. In the name of damage control, an intentional walk may be a good idea next time.

While the Seminoles are in the process of trying out a fifth pitcher, the Tigers are still on their first, sophomore D.J. Mitchell.

FSU: So much for that

Just when the crowd thought the Seminoles we're starting to shift momentum, the Tigers stomped all hope into the ground here in Tallahassee. Clemson cranked out four runs in the top of the sixth to take control with an 8-1 lead.

Florida State ended the inning with a nice double play, with Seminole fans giving a half-hearted yelp, but it was much to little and much to late for the Tribe.

Taylor Harbin started the rally for Clemson, hitting a two-run shot off FSU's Michael Hyde on his senior day to make it 6-1. The Tigers then hit consecutive doubles to acount for another run and Seminoles called it a day for Hyde after 1 and 2/3 innings, four hits and four earned runs.

Florida State looked to the bullpen again to find sophomore Travis Burge. The left hander gave up one more run that Hyde was responsible for, before getting out of the inning.

Unfortunately Seminole fans are starting to make their way out of the ballpark. Can hardly blame them though as it's going to take something impressive to get the 'Noles back into this one. No. 2 Florida State continues to show weakness on the mound without senior Bryan Henry.

FSU: Momentum may be shifting

FSU catcher Buster Posey bunted for a base hit to start the bottom of the fourth for the Tribe, and scored three batters later on an RBI groundout, to get the Seminoles on the scoreboard. However, Clemson added another run of their own at the top of the frame with catcher Doug Hogan's RBI double.

The Seminoles elected to pull starter Ryan Stauss at that point after 3 and 1/3 innings, five hits and four earned runs. Senior Michael Hyde (9-2), who has started 13 games but none this weekend, entered to earn the last two outs to send Clemson back to the field.

The tables might be turning soon as Tiger starter D.J. Mitchell is not looking as good as he started. The sophomore is throwing a lot more balls than strikes, including four straight to walk Jack Rye. Luckily for Clemson, the 'Noles left him on.

It's still 4-1 after four and the second-ranked Seminoles still have a lot of work to do.

FSU: Base running costs Tigers

FSU pitcher Ryan Strauss allowed another two hits in the top of the second but two strikeouts and some bad base running got the Seminoles out of the inning.

Clemson had runners on first and third with two outs but center fielder Addison Johnson, caught badly trying to steal second, put himslef in a pickle. While FSU shortstop Mark Hallberg was in hot pursuit, Alex Lee thought he could sneak home from third. Hallberg threw him out easily for the third out.

The Tigers once again made quick work of the Tribe in the bottom of the inning, allowing just four batters to see the plate, with a walk and three outs.

Maybe it's because fans are still bitter about game two, but quite a few empty seats in the stands. Not a huge loss for the Seminoles though as the loyal section behind the plate is hyped enough for everyone. It will be trouble, however, if the Seminoles don't get something going offensively.

FSU: Clemson jumps out to 3-0 lead

Things ended badly for the 'Noles yesterday, and so far they aren't starting out any better in game three. First baseman Andy D'Alessio, batting fourth for the Tigers, slapped a three-run homer over the right-center fence to give Clemson a 3-0 lead after the top of the first.

Right fielder Wilson Boyd started things off with a deep double that almost cleared the fence in the same spot D'Alessio would two batters later. D'Alessio's at-bat endured 11 pitches, fouling off ball after ball before finally finding the sweet spot.

Meanwhile, Clemson's D.J. Mitchell struck out two Seminoles swinging and Florida State went three-and-out to lay an egg for the inning.

FSU: For all the marbles

It's senior day at Dick Howser Stadium with less favorable conditions that folks are used to here in Tallahassee. Mostly cloudy skies with a 40 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms, all under a heavy smokey haze, courtesy of nearby wildfires.

In game two the weather was the least of worries for No. 2 Florida State, but rather it was Clemson who rained all over the Seminoles' Saturday parade. The Tigers came through in the clutch to score three runs in the top of the ninth to take a 7-6 win after trailing all game.

Things ended badly for the Tribe, going scoreless for the last six consecutive innings and surrendering six unanswered runs. Seminole fans stood in disbelief, so disappointed in fact that several refused coupons as part of a free hot dog promotion while leaving the game. For those who aren't familiar, Florida State takes good care of the Garnet and Gold faithful with lots of good free stuff and the fans love it. It's not normal for them to be turning this stuff down.

The Seminoles showed once again that without ever-so-reliable senior Bryan Henry on the mound, things can get a little shaky and the Tigers took advantage to even up the series. The 'Noles will send junior Ryan Strauss (8-1) to the mound today, at-risk of losing their first ACC series of the season. The Tigers have elected to pitch sophomore right hander D.J. Mitchell (3-0).

Florida State will sport gold jerseys and pants for the special occasion of senior day, while the Tigers will once again go with the purple that brought them luck in game two. Sorry Clemson, I'm just not feeling the dark purple, or the traffic-cone orange for that matter.

Anyway, we'll be underway here shortly after the 'Noles honor their seniors.

May 12, 2007

FSU: Tigers survive Seminole rally in 7-6 triumph

After giving up three runs in the top of the ninth to lose an eight-inning lead, No. 2 Florida State failed to pull off one of its signature two-out rallies with runners on first and third and fell to No. 16 Clemson 7-6 in game two of the series. The 'Noles blew a 6-1 lead sustained in the third inning.

Reliever Alan Farina was clutch on the mound for Clemson, hurling six strikeouts and allowing just four hits and no runs in 4 and 1/3 innings. Farina was the main force that kept the Seminoles scoreless through six consecutive innings to end the game and stage the come-from-behind win.

FSU started out at the top of the lineup, but Seminole hitting machine Tony Thomas Jr. struck out to lead off the inning and Mark Hallberg grounded out to dig a two-out hole for the Tribe.

Catcher Buster Posey finally gave the 'Noles something to cheer about with a single to right field. Right fielder Jack Rye kept the desperation rally going with a shot to right center that advanced the tying run to third, with freshman slugger D'Vontrey Richardson on deck.

Richardson, pinch hitting with a batting average of .364, came to the plate as the Seminole faithful crossed their fingers, but the freshman struck out swinging on a 1-2 count.

The Seminole loss was only the third at home for the Tribe this season. Florida State, who is perfect in ACC series play this season, will have to win the rubber match tomorrow to keep it that way.

FSU: Tigers take 7-6 lead

While Florida State bats continue to chill in the freezer, Clemson is heating up, taking a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth. The Seminoles brought on senior reliever Luke Tucker, usually a solid closer, but the strike zone seems to be shriveling and Clemson scored three runs on two hits to mount the successful comeback.

Tucker pitched what looked to be two consecutive strikes, but both were called outside and Seminole fans were livid.

Taylor Harbin doubled down the left field line to score two, with both runs getting on base thanks to walks.

FSU then intentionally walked Ben Paulsen to load the bases with one out, and while getting exactly what they wanted, could not come up with the double play at first. Thus allowing Clemson and Andy D'Alessio to score the go-ahead run.

FSU: 'Noles holding on

Dick Howser Stadium let out a collective sigh of relief as a line drive from Clemson's Alex Lee landed just foul with two on in the top of the eighth, as the Seminoles are holding on to a 6-4 advantage.

On the next pitch Lee hit another laser but this one was caught at third base by Jason Stidham. FSU freshman reliever Matt Fairel got pinch hitter David Bunnell swinging for the third out of the inning.

Meanwhile the Tribe is literally holding on to this one. FSU bats have gone ice cold through four scoreless frames, with only one hit in the last five innings and a three-and-out effort in the bottom of the seventh.

Florida State will take a swing at Clemson reliever Alan Farina again here in the bottom of the eighth.

FSU: Clemson continues to climb

Clemson picked up another run in the top of the sixth and what was a 6-1 lead for the 'Noles has unraveled to only a two-run deficit for the purple-people eaters.

Brain Chambers came in to pitch for the 'Noles, walking Ben Paulsen and giving up a double to Clemson catcher Doug Hogan. Left fielder Alex Lee came through with the RBI single to score Paulsen. The Seminoles ended the inning after pinch hitter Alex Burg hit into a double play.

The Tigers are keeping the bullpen busy and so far it's working. Clemson pitching has strung together three consecutive scoreless innings after the Tribe earned runs in each of their first three frames.

FSU: Tigers chip away at lead

Clemson's Marquez Smith broke through for his first hit of the series, a double down the left field line, to notch two RBI and cut Seminole lead to 6-3 in the top of the fifth.

Sophomore Travis Burge came on in relief of Danny Rosen for the Seminoles, who quickly allowed two on in the top of the fifth after a walk and a single. Rosen was responsible for both runs and finished with four innings, four hits and three earned runs.

The Tigers had a chance to add one more after Andy D'Alessio singled to right, but right fielder Jack Rye came up throwing and catcher Buster Posey collided with Smith for the out at the plate to end the inning.

The Garnet and Gold crowd is sure letting Tiger batters have it. Anytime a batter left the box he was berrated with screams to get back in it. Guess the Seminoles wanted to hurry up and get out of the inning.

FSU: Tigers leave bases loaded

FSU's Danny Rosen struck out Wilson Boyd swinging to start the inning and finished it the same way after Clemson looked to be threatening with the bases loaded.

Tiger first baseman Andy D'Alessio doubled to right center, Taylor Harbin walked and Rosen hit Ben Paulsen on a full count to load the bases. FSU head coach Mike Martin once again approached the mound to talk it over with Rosen, and whatever he said was effective as the junior struck out catcher Doug Hogan to get out of the inning.

Rosen ended up surrendering only one hit and no runs in what was a huge missed opportunity for Hogan and the Tigers.

FSU: Seminoles rolling 6-1

The Seminole faithful are pumping their fists in a frenzy along with the Florida State fight song, a bad sign for the Tigers of Clemson. The Tribe held Clemson scoreless again in the top of the third before tacking on another three runs themselves to make it 6-1 'Noles after three.

Clemson's David Kopp needed only three pitches to strikeout the first batter of the inning, but Jack Rye singled and left fielder Ohmed Danesh homered to right center to spark the rally.

Third baseman Jason Stidham was the next batter to get on after a single to right and advanced to second on ground out. Mark Gildea's RBI single scored Stidham who slid underneath Clemson's Doug Hogan at the plate for the third run of the inning.

FSU: 'Noles up 3-1

Third baseman Jason Stidham kicked off the bottom of the second inning with a triple off the right field wall. Designated hitter Travis Anderson was next up and swung for an RBI single to make it 2-1 'Noles.

The Tigers looked like they would get out of the inning, after as FSU's Brandon Reichert hit into a double play, but an error gave the Tribe another. Tony Thomas Jr. walked to first, but pitcher David Kopp caught him with a huge lead off during the next at-bat. Kopp threw what looked to be an easy out into the dirt, allowing Anderson to score unearned from third.

Shortstop Taylor Harbin walked to start Clemson off in the top of the second, but FSU catcher Buster Posey caught him red-handed in an attempt to steal second. A fly out and another strikeout from Danny Rosen blanked the Tigers for the inning.

FSU: Tigers strike, 'Noles answer quickly

The Tigers struck first in Tallahassee as Wilson Boyd blasted his first career home run over the right field fence off of FSU's Danny Rosen in the top of the first. However, Rosen needed only a quick pep talk from legendary Florida State skipper Mike Martin to get the next two batters swinging and end the inning.

The Seminoles came right back with Tony Thomas Jr. leading off with a double sent to deep center field. Thomas fought through a full count, fouling off four balls before coming through with the hit.

Clemson's David Kopp walked the next batter and a sacrific bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Jack Rye grounded out to the second baseman but got the RBI to score Thomas and knot the game at 1-1.

Thomas's double was his third of the series and 28th of the year, putting him fifth place all-time at Florida State with doubles in a season.

FSU: Tigers look to pounce back in game 2

The No. 16 Clemson Tigers will look to even the series in game two of their ACC matchup with No. 2 Florida State here at Dick Howser Stadium on a another sunny Saturday here in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles won the first contest 11-1 behind the arm of undefeated senior Bryan Henry (13-0) and a balanced and productive effort offensively.

Friday night the Seminoles scored 10 or more runs on the Tigers for the first time since May 17, 1997 and clinched their first ever ACC Atlantic Division Championship with the win.

ACC Pitcher of the Week Danny Rosen (2-1) will take the mound for the Tribe in game two in what will be his first home start of the season. The junior has a 3.50 ERA and is coming off a career game at Maryland where he struck out 12 batters in 7.1 innings. The right hander leads the team with eight saves on the season and has held opposing batters to a .211 average.

Rosen will replace traditional Saturday starter Michael Hyde (9-2) as the Seminoles continue to experiment with their pitching rotation as they prepare for postseason play. Against Maryland, Rosen started Sunday for Ryan Strauss (8-1).

Continue reading "FSU: Tigers look to pounce back in game 2" »

May 11, 2007

FSU: Firing on all cylinders, 'Noles win 11-1

The Florida State lineup was good for 11 runs off of 15 hits, but with senior Bryan Henry (13-0) on the mound, the offensive production proved to be overkill. Henry pitched eight innings while allowing only one run and striking out eight, as the Tribe tore through the Tigers 11-1 in the series opener.

With the win over Clemson the Seminoles clinched a first place finish in the Atlantic division and improved their ACC record to 21-4.

The matchup was close through five innings of play, but the 'Noles tacked on two runs in the sixth, exploded for six more in the seventh and added one for good measure in the eighth. FSU recorded five extra base hits, including a triple from Ohmed Danesh and two double from Tony Thomas Jr., giving him a team-leading 27 on the year.

Thomas finished 3-for-3 from the plate, adding an RBI and two stolen bases. In all, five Seminoles had multi-hit games, while Mark Hallberg and Danesh knocked in two RBI apiece.

The Tigers expended four pitchers in the losing effort, with the loss going to starter Daniel Moskos (3-4). Moskos endured 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs and seven hits.

Other than a solo shot from first baseman Andy D'Alessio, the Tigers had no answer offensively. Lead-off hitter Addison Johnson finished 3-for-5 and had the best night for Clemson. However, Player of the Week Marquez Smith and D'Alessio both struck out three times batting third and fourth, respectively.

FSU: Tribe erupts to score 6, now 10-1 'Noles

A sea of Garnet and Gold erupted in applause in the seventh inning, followed shortly by the Florida State fight song. Then they did it again, and again. In all they did it five times followed finally by a standing ovation to send the Seminoles out of the inning.

Florida State ripped Clemson relievers in the bottom of the seventh, adding six runs off six hits, including four for extra bases, and an error to give the Tribe a commanding 10-1 lead over the helpless Tigers.

The run started on an error after FSU catcher Buster Posey bunted a weak ball back at pitcher Matt Vaughn who errantly hurled a laser five feet over the first baseman's head. Posey advanced to second, in what began a long inning for the Tigers.

Jason Stidham doubled to right field to score Posey and Ohmed Danesh tripled down the left field line to score two more and spark the onslaught. Mark Gildea doubled to center field to score Danesh and then reached the plate himself on a wild pitch.

Tony Thomas Jr. rubbed it in with another double and crossed the plate one batter later to score the last run of the inning.

FSU: 'Noles stretch lead 4-1

Once again the Seminoles waited for the two-out mark before heating up in the sixth inning to score two runs and extend their lead 4-1 over Clemson. Brandon Reichert hit an RBI single and Tony Thomas Jr. smacked his 26th double of the season through the left side to bring in runs for the Tribe.

Clemson replaced starter Daniel Moskos after 5 and 2/3 innings, seven hits, four strikeouts and five walks. Right hander Matt Vaughn came on in relief and struck out Florida State's Mark Hallberg with two runners on to stop the bleeding.

FSU junior Dennis Guinn returned to the plate as a designated hitter for the first time since a PCL tear suffered in the Virginia Tech series back in April. However, cheers from the Seminole faithful quickly turned to concerned moans as Guinn came up limping badly after a ground out in the sixth.

FSU: Clemson gets one

Clemson first baseman Andy D'Alessio rocketed a solo shot to left field off FSU's Bryan Henry to make it 2-1 after four. A ground out and two fly-outs ended the at-bat for the Tigers after the homer, including a deep snag by center fielder Mark Gildea that sent the Seminole flying into the wall.

Florida State came up in the bottom of the inning but went three and out, with little going other than a deep fly out by senior Travis Anderson.

A smokey haze has drifted over Dick Howser Stadium but all is good for baseball as we're in the middle of a tight one here in Tallahassee.

FSU: Here come the 'Noles

The Seminoles used a two-out rally in the bottom of the third to take a 2-0 lead over Clemson. FSU's Tony Thomas Jr. started things off with a bunt single down the third base line. He then stole second and Mark Hallberg singled to right, allowing the speedster to score easily.

Clemson's Daniel Moskos walked the next batter and FSU's Jack Rye blasted a pitch up the middle to score Hallberg from second. Moskos walked another to load the bases and looked to be down for the count after throwing several pitches in the dirt. But the junior fought back to strike out third baseman Jason Stidham and end the inning.

FSU's Hallberg and Rye both extended their hitting streaks to 16 games. The stolen base by Thomas was his 25th of the year.

FSU: Good start for Henry

Lead-off hitter Addison Johnson singled to start the inning for the Tigers, but he didn't go anywhere. Florida State's Bryan Henry convinced the next batter to fly out and struck out batters three and four to end the inning.

For the Seminoles Tony Thomas Jr. got on base after being hit by Clemson's Daniel Moskos's first pitch. However, a hopper to the second baseman resulted in a double play and senior Marquez Smith made a nice play at third to account for the final out of the inning.

Henry will face the middle of the Clemson lineup next, but for now its still 0-0 after one in Tallahassee.

FSU: 'Noles, Tigers lead off

It's a blazing hot Friday in sunny Tallahassee as ACC leader Florida State gets ready to host the Tigers of Clemson for game one of the weekend rivalry.

The series will be the last for the Seminoles at home this season, where they hold an all-time record of 31-10-1 against the Tigers.

The top two teams in the conference's Atlantic Division, Florida State and Clemson both saw players earn ACC honors last week . For the Tigers it was Marquez Smith who finised 6-for-11 (.545) with two doubles, three homers and eight RBI in a series win over Boston College. Down 6-3 in the deciding game of the series, the ACC Player of the Week blasted a go-ahead grand slam en route to the Tigers 7-6 triumph.

FSU's Danny Rosen claimed ACC Pitcher of the Week after striking out a career-high 12 batters in 7.1 innings. The junior's performance led to a 3-2 win for the Seminoles in game three of the series and the team's first road sweep of the season.

Continue reading "FSU: 'Noles, Tigers lead off" »

The Slogger... Posts By Site More Baseball Archives...