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Clemson game key to 'Noles
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Quote:Clemson game key to 'Noles
Loss to Miami wouldn't doom FSU's chances to reach ACC final
By Ben Jacobs

JACKSONVILLE - Because of what happened on the opening day of the ACC baseball tournament, there is no way for Florida State to reach Sunday's championship game without beating Clemson on Saturday.

That has prompted head coach Mike Martin to switch Bryan Henry and Ryan Strauss in the rotation. Strauss will now pitch at 7 p.m. Friday against Miami, and Henry will go against Clemson at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“We know the scenario. With what has already happened, Miami losing to Clemson, the emphasis now is on the Clemson game,” Martin said. “Had Miami won, then the emphasis would have been the Miami game.”

In fact, if Clemson beats Wake Forest at 4 p.m. today, then Miami would be eliminated from title-game contention and Florida State's game against the Hurricanes will have no bearing on whether the Seminoles reach the ACC final. Now there is no chance of the Seminoles wasting their best pitcher in a game that has no repercussions for a loss.

“It made all the sense in the world, because this team did not leave Tallahassee satisfied with anything less than playing for the conference championship,” Martin said.

Henry, the ACC pitcher of the year, was surprised by the change but said it will not change what he does. He's also looking forward to getting the chance to pitch the Seminoles into the final.

“That's what it's all about. We're here to try to win a ring,” Henry said. “I'm not going to put any more pressure on one specific game. We just want to go out and play hard and give ourselves a shot.”

The change also made sense because Martin is “90-percent sure” that Henry will pitch the Saturday game in next weekend's NCAA regional, so he now has his normal schedule of rest leading up to that outing.

“Everything pointed to going that direction,” Martin said.
05-25-2007 10:43 AM
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