Wake Forest Falls To Clemson In ACC Baseball

Wake Forest Falls To Clemson On ACC Baseball Tournament Diamond, 8-6. Deacons eliminated from 2002 tournament.

St. Petersburg, Fla. - No. 4 seed Clemson (47-13) advanced to Saturday night's ACC Baseball Championship game by defeating No. 2 Wake Forest (44-11-1), 8-6 during the afternoon session at the 2002 ACC Baseball Championship in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Tigers now hope to force the tournament into Sunday with a win over the Seminoles Saturday night at 8 p.m. Florida State enters the game as the tournament's only undefeated team and can claim the conference crown with a win Saturday night.

A win by Clemson would create a championship final on Sunday at 1 p.m. between the two schools.

The three, four and five batters in Clemson's lineup delivered for the Tigers throughout the day against Wake Forest.

Khalil Greene, Jeff Baker and Michael Johnson combined for five of Clemson's eight runs, six of the 10 hits, and six of the eight RBIs. Baker and Johnson both delivered home runs for the Tigers and had three RBIs apiece.

Greene extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a 2-for-3 performance.

Wake Forest got things started in the third when Nick Blue singled up the middle to drive in Steve LeFaivre and Ben Ingold. Blue's hit came with no outs and the bases loaded. It was one of four hits and two of the four RBIs on the day for Blue.

The damage in the inning was limited for Clemson when Ryan Johnson grounded into a double play after Blue's single. Jamie D'Antona flew out to center field to end the scoring threat.

Clemson tied the game in the fourth when Johnson connected on his 19th home run of the year. Johnson's home run, which hit the top of the right field wall as it left the park, scored Baker.

Wake Forest starter Tim Morley (L, 5-3) seemed to settle down in the fifth and appeared to be cruising to a one, two, three inning after retiring the first two batters he faced, but Steve Pyzik singled to left field and Roberto Valiente followed with a double down the left field line. Kyle Frank drove in both runners with a single to left center.

After Greene reached base with a single and Baker singled through the right side to plate Frank, Morley was replaced by Brian Bach. Bach promptly gave up another single to Johnson and that scored Greene to make the score 6-2.

Wake Forest didn't take long to respond in the top of the sixth when the Deacs launched three solo home runs to close the lead to 6-5. Ryan Johnson, Stephen Gutzman and Brad Scioletti all delivered solo shots to chase Clemson starter Jeff Hourigan (W, 1-2) out of the game.

Thomas Boozer came in for Hourigan and got the Tigers out of the inning with one pitch when pinch hitter Ryan Braun grounded out to third to end the rally.

The Tigers added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh on Baker's 22nd home run of the year.

Wake Forest threatened to come back in the top of the ninth when with one out Adam Bourassa singled and was brought home by a double down the left field line by Blue. That was all the Deacons would get off Boozer, who earned his third save of the year.


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