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Noles Complete Sweep of No. 16 Tigers

Posted: 11:45 PM, Apr 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-15 03:45:37Z
Noles Complete Sweep of No. 16 Tigers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.For the first time since 2008, and the first time in Tallahassee since 2001, Florida State (22-13, 10-8 ACC) swept No. 16 Clemson (25-11, 11-7) with a 6-4 win Sunday on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles three-game sweep was its first against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent at home since 2016.

Conor Grady (6-3) had his second outstanding pitching performance of the week, throwing 5.1 innings of relief, allowing just one hit, no runs and striking out a career-high 11. Against Florida on Tuesday, Grady earned the start and pitched seven innings, allowed no earned runs and struck out nine.

Drew Mendoza’s two-run home run punctuated a four-run second inning that gave Florida State its first lead. After Clemson tied it in the third inning, FSU plated single runs in the fourth and seventh innings to provide the final margin. Mike Salvatore and Nander De Sedas each had two of FSU’s 10 hits.

Shane Drohan allowed four runs in 2.2 innings of work and struck out six batters. J.C. Flowers earned his eighth save of the year, working around a walk in the ninth inning and recording two strikeouts. As a pitching staff, FSU’s 19 strikeouts were its most of the season and most since notching 22 in 14 innings against Villanova in 2016.

The Tigers struck in the first inning when FSU misplayed a Logan Davidson hit into a double and scored on Grayson Byrd’s RBI single. Drohan struck out the side to avoid further trouble.

Drohan added two more strikeouts in the second inning, but Davidson’s second double scored two runs and gave Clemson a 3-0 lead.

Clemson starter Keyshawn Askew walked the first two batters in the second inning before handing the ball to reliever Brooks Crawford. Salvatore singled for the second time to score Jonathan Foster and Mat Nelson touched home on Alec Sanchez’s RBI groundout. FSU took the 4-3 lead on Mendoza’s 10th home run of the season and second of the weekend, a 396-foot shot to score Salvatore.

Drohan gave up a walk and a single in the third inning before Grady entered in relief with two outs. Despite the three-pitch strikeout of Bryce Teodosio, the Tigers tied the game on a double steal of second and home. Drohan’s final line was six hits and four earned runs in 2.2 innings, with six strikeouts and two walks.

Grady pitched a perfect fourth inning, the first for either team, striking out the side. The Noles took the lead in the bottom of the inning on an RBI out from Nico Baldor, scoring Sanchez.

After Elijah Cabell made a running catch to save a run in the top of the fifth, he and Nelson singled to end Crawford’s day as the Tigers brought in Sam Weatherly. The Noles could not capitalize against the lefty, leaving the bases loaded for the third time in five innings. On the day, FSU tied a season high by leaving 17 runners on base.

Grady worked around two errors in the sixth inning, stranding a runner at third base while striking out the side. He retired the side in order in the eighth after a replay review determined Mendoza threw out Davis Sharpe to end the inning.

Baldor added an RBI single in the seventh inning off Owen Griffith, pushing FSU’s lead to 6-4 through 7 innings. It was Baldor’s first multi-RBI game as a Seminole.

Flowers walked Chad Fairey with one out in the ninth inning, but struck out Sam Hall looking and Davidson flew out to left field to end the game.

The sweep improves FSU to 10-8 in the ACC on the season, one game behind Clemson for third in the Atlantic Division.

OF NOTE

  • In two games this week, Conor Grady struck out 20 batters in 12.1 innings pitched, allowed just four hits and did not allow an earned run. His 11 strikeouts Sunday were a career high and the most for a Seminole reliever since Zach Diaz had 12 in 1997.
  • Drew Mendoza hit his team-high 10th home run of the season, tying his season-high from 2017. Mendoza has 27 career home runs. Mendoza also drew his team-high 40th, 41st and 42nd walks of the year.
  • Mike Salvatore hit singles his first two at-bats, good for his team-high 15th multi-hit game.
  • C. Flowers earned his eighth save of the season, most for a Seminole since Billy Strode had 14 in 2015.
  • FSU walked 11 times Sunday, its most since earned 12 walks in a win at NC State on March 17.
  • FSU’s sweep of Clemson was its first against the Tigers since May 3-5, 2008 at Clemson. The last sweep of the Tigers in Tallahassee was April 6-8, 2001. The Noles last home sweep against any ACC opponent was vs. Notre Dame April 22-24, 2016.

UP NEXT

Florida State heads to Virginia for a three-game series in Charlottesville beginning Thursday, April 18. The series is beginning a day early due to Easter on Sunday.

All three games will stream live on the ACC Network Extra.

For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).