Tigers sweep away Deacons

Ben Paulsen hit a two-run homer and Chris Dwyer pitched 7.0 strong innings to lead No. 22 Clemson to a 7-3 victory over Wake Forest at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers, who swept the three-game series, improved to 11-4 overall and 4-2 in the ACC. The Demon Deacons fell to 7-8 overall and 0-6 in ACC play. Clemson also upped its winning streak over Wake Forest at Doug Kingsmore Stadium to 11 games.

Dwyer (2-0) earned the win for the Tigers. The freshman lefthander pitched 7.0 innings, allowing six hits, two runs, and two walks with five strikeouts. Wake Forest starter Phil Negus (1-1) suffered the loss. He allowed five runs on six hits in 4.2 innings pitched.

The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Brad Miller led off with a line-drive single to right field and stole second. Mike Freeman followed with a double down the left-field line to score Miller. Paulsen's flyout to left field advanced Freeman to third, then Kyle Parker's sacrifice fly to center plated Freeman.

After Paulsen and Parker led off the fourth inning with singles, they both moved up a base on a balk. Jeff Schaus followed with a hard groundball off the leg of Negus. The Demon Deacons recorded the 1-5-3 putout, but Paulsen scored on the play.

The Demon Deacons dented the scoreboard with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Tyler Smith reached with one out on a hit-by-pitch and went to second on Steven Brooks' single through the left side. After Smith advanced to third on Micah Jarrett's flyout to right field, Smith scored on Dustin Hood's two-out single to right field.

Jason Stolz led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double high off the fence down the left-field line. He moved to third on Addison Johnson's sacrifice bunt and scored on Miller's sacrifice fly to right-center. After Freeman drew a two-out walk, Paulsen blasted a two-run homer to right field, his second long ball of the season, to give Clemson a 6-1 lead.

In the seventh inning, Shane Kroker led off with a double to right-center. Dwyer, who had pitched 21.2 innings on the season up to that point, allowed his first extra-base hit as a Tiger on the play. Three batters later, Jarrett hit a two-out single up the middle to score Kroker.

Michael Murray led off the top of the eighth inning with a home run to right-center, his third homer of the season.

The Tigers built their lead back up to four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Freeman led off with a triple to center and scored on Paulsen's sacrifice fly to left-center.

Paulsen paced the Tigers with two hits, two runs, and three RBIs. Freeman added a double, triple, three runs, and a stolen base.

In the three-game series, Clemson outhit Wake Forest .350 to .238, including .276 to .118 (4-34) with runners in scoring position. Parker went 7-for-12 (.583) with two homers and seven RBIs, while Freeman added six hits, five runs, two doubles, and one triple.

Clemson will play host to Presbyterian on Tuesday at 6:30 PM.

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