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Clemson Eliminates NC State

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Florida State gave the Wolfpack the assist they needed by beating Georgia Tech this morning, knocking the Jackets from contention and putting the Pack back in control of their own tournament destiny. They were in position to advance with a win on Saturday just as they did a year ago.

The game started well enough--State scratched a few runs across while D.J. Thomas pitched reasonably well for 4+ innings. Perhaps things would have been different had the bullpen been managed more efficiently, though I don't blame Avent for turning to Josh Easley first. What I don't understand is why little-used Nick Rice was the next man out of the pen after a day off; Avent presumably had anyone he wanted at his disposal. Rice was tasked with getting the team out of a two on, no out situation in the 5th and almost managed to wiggle the team out of the inning, but then he made a mistake that was crushed out of the park. The home run gave Clemson a 4-3 lead, which ended up being all they'd need. By the time Chris Overman came into the game in the 8th, State was all but finished.

Oh well. On the bright side, we can rest easy knowing we're in the NCAA tournament field, which will be announced on Monday.