By Chandler Carver.
By Chandler Carver
Clemson downed Wake Forest, 8-2, in game one of the three-game series between the two teams on Friday night to stretch their winning streak to eight. Daniel Gossett got his fifth win of the year and the Tigers moved to 10-6 in ACC play, 24-11 overall.
Clemson’s hitting continued to be the story at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Friday night, as Tiger hitters combined for 13 hits, including three triples. Tyler Slaton, Garrett Boulware and Joe Costigan each went 2-for-4 to lead the Tigers on a night where each Tiger starter registered a hit.
Gossett continued his great work as the Friday starter, limiting Wake Forest to two runs (one earned) and eight hits in 6.0 innings of work. He also gave up only two walks and struck out a season-high-tying nine Demon Deacon batters. Patrick Andrews and Matt Campbell combined for 3.0 shutout innings of relief, allowing no walks and striking out two.
Wake Forest was able to get runners on early in the top of the first, but Gossett was able to work out of the jam. With runners on the corners and one out, Gossett then struck out the next two Demon Deacon batters to get out of the top half unscathed. Then in the bottom half, Garrett Boulware sent his seventh homer of the year just over the glove of left fielder Kevin Jordan to put the Tigers up 1-0 after one.
Steven Duggar got the Tigers started in the bottom of the second with a triple to right. Two batters later, Joe Costigan sent an RBI triple to right field, and the second baseman’s throw went into the dugout, sending Costigan to the plate for another Tiger run to extend the Clemson lead to 3-0 after two.
After a scoreless third, the Tigers tacked on another run in the fourth. With one out, McGibbon sent a hard-hit ball to second and the first baseman couldn’t dig out the throw. Costigan then continued his hot-hitting and singled to right. Krieger walked and Slaton sent a base-hit to right field to score McGibbon. The Tigers would leave the bases loaded, however, but stretched the lead to 4-0 after four.
The Demon Deacons got on the board in the top of the fifth. After two quick outs, Wake Forest leadoff hitter Evan Stephens sent a perfect bunt down the third-base line and a failed pick-off throwing error by Gossett sent him to second. Then, Keniry sent a fly ball to shallow left field and Slaton couldn’t come up with the catch, scoring Stephens from third to make it 4-1 Tigers. Keniry stole second, but Gossett was able to get Pat Blair to strikeout to minimize the Wake Forest damage.
Shane Kennedy led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, followed by an RBI triple by Steve Wilkerson. Wilkerson was then thrown out at home trying to score on a ball hit to third by Duggar. The Tigers would strand a runner at third, but lead 5-1 after five.
Gossett ran into some trouble in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Wake Forest pinch hitter Joey Rodriguez sent a single to center, followed by a Jordan single. A double steal put both runners in scoring position, but Gossett walked Armour to load the bases. Rodriguez then scored on a wild pitch by Gossett to cut the Tiger lead to 5-2. After walking the next batter to load the bases again, Gossett was able to get Stephens to fly out to left to leave the bases loaded and end the Wake Forest threat.
The Tigers continued their offense in the bottom of the sixth. Krieger drew a lead-off walk, followed by a single by Slaton. Thomas Brittle then singled through the right side to score Krieger from second and Slaton scored on a balk. The Tigers loaded the bases on walks by Wilkerson and Kennedy and scratched another run across on a sacrifice fly by Duggar to take an 8-2 lead into the seventh, which was the final score.
The Tigers left 13 men on base, but walked 10 times and only struck out twice. Clemson and Wake Forest meet tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. for the second game of the three-game series.