Tigers Fall to Wake, 13-11

On a day when strong winds blew out to right field, Wake Forest outslugged #17 Clemson 13-11 on Saturday in game-one of a three-game series in front of 317 fans at Hooks Stadium. With the victory in both team's ACC-opener, the Demon Deacons improved to 6-4 overall and 1-0 in ACC play, while the Tigers fell to 6-3 overall and 0-1 in the ACC.

Allan Dykstra led Wake Forest's 15-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with two homers, three RBIs, three runs scored, and a walk. Andy Goff added four hits for the Demon Deacons, who were 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position and 10-for-20 with runners on base.

Every Tiger starter scored at least one run, but it was not enough. Clemson, who totaled 12 hits, was led offensively by Matt Sanders, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

Phil Negus (2-0) earned the win in relief despite allowing four runs on five hits in 2.1 innings pitched. Brad Kledzik pitched the final 1.1 innings with four strikeouts to record the Demon Deacons' first save of the year. Four Wake Forest pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts. Tiger starter Ryan Hinson (1-2) suffered the loss, as he allowed eight runs on nine hits in 4.0 innings pitched.

The Demon Deacons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Steven Brooks drew a one-out walk and stole second base. Willy Fox followed with a line-drive single to left field to score Brooks. Dykstra then lined a two-run homer to right-center.

In the top of the second inning, Alex Lee reached on a bunt single with one out and moved to second on Mike Freeman's groundout. Sanders then slapped a single to right field to score Lee. It was Sanders' first RBI as a Tiger. After Stan Widmann walked, Wilson Boyd laced a double off the wall in right field to score both Sanders and Widmann, tying the score 3-3.

Ben Paulsen gave Clemson the lead when he led off the top of the third inning with a home run to center, his third of the season.

Wake Forest scored a run in the bottom of the third inning to tie the score. Ben Terry led off with a single to left field on a 1-2 pitch. Brooks followed with a double to right-center on another 1-2 pitch to score Terry.

The scoring continued in the top of the fourth inning. Sanders led off with a single to center on an 0-2 pitch. Two batters later, Boyd blooped a single to left-center. Doug Hogan then belted a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left field for a three-run homer, his third of the season. The home run also extended his hitting streak to 24 games, tied for the fifth-longest hitting streak in Clemson history.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Dustin Hood led off with a single to center and Goff followed with a single through the left side. After Evan Ocheltree walked to load the bases with no outs, Austin Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Hood, cutting the Tigers' lead to 7-5.

Fox led off the fifth inning with a double to right-center on a 1-2 pitch. Dykstra followed with a hard grounder to Paulsen at first, who made a diving stop. But Hinson failed to cover the bag and Dykstra outran Paulsen to the first-base bag for an infield single. After Brett Linnenkohl walked to load the bases again with no outs, Graham Stoneburner entered the game on the mound for the Tigers.

Hood greeted Stoneburner with a sacrifice fly to deep center, as Fox scored and the other two baserunners both moved up a base. Goff followed with a single through the right side to score Dykstra and Linnenkohl, giving Wake Forest an 8-7 lead.

After the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth inning were retired, Wake Forest scored five runs on four hits. Dykstra doubled the Demon Deacons' lead when he blasted a solo home run to right field, his second of the game and fourth of the season. Linnenkohl then walked, stole second base, and scored on Hood's bad-hop single up the middle. The fortunate bounce paid further dividends when two batters later, Ocheltree hit a three-run homer off the scoreboard in left field, his second of the season, to increase Wake Forest's lead to 13-7.

Clemson responded with four runs on five hits in the top of the seventh inning. Paulsen led off with a double to left and scored on Jeff Schaus' single up the middle. Chris Epps followed with a walk. Two batters later, Freeman loaded the bases with a one-out single through the left side. Sanders, the #9 batter in the order, came through again with a single on a 2-2 pitch to right-center to score Schaus and Epps. Widmann followed with a single through the right side on an 0-2 pitch to score Freeman. Lefthander Alex Wiesner entered the game on the mound and avoided further damage by getting Boyd to fly out and Hogan to strike out with the tying run on first base to end the frame.

After a 76-minute rain delay in the top of the eighth inning, play resumed. Neither team scored in the eighth inning. Then in the top of the ninth inning, Sanders reached with one out on a throwing error by Dykstra. Two batters later, Boyd walked with two outs. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, but Hogan struck out with the tying run on second base to end the game.

Clemson and Wake Forest will wrap up the series with a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 11:00 AM.

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