Wake Forest avoided being swept in its three-game series with Clemson on Saturday by taking Game 2 of a doubleheader, 8-3.
The third-ranked Tigers beat Wake 11-0 in the first game of the doubleheader at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, but the No. 17 Demon Deacons scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning in the second game, rallying to salvage at least one win the three games.
Clemson (33-8, 16-5 ACC) won Game 1 on Friday night, 8-7.
“It was definitely a tale of two games today,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said after Game 2. “We played one of our better games in Game 1 today behind Alex Eubanks, who had the shutout. I don’t know if we had a free pass in that ballgame. We played very well defensively and did not allow a free pass and that is something we definitely needed against a really good Wake Forest ballclub.”
Gavin Sheets’ grand slam off Clemson reliever Jacob Hennessey broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning of Game 3, and was all the runs Wake Forest needed to get the victory. Tigers’ starter Pat Krall, who was pitching on just four days rest, suffered his first loss of the season.
Krall (6-1) pitched well enough to earn the win despite his limited rest. However, three errors helped do Krall and the Tigers in. The lefty allowed just four hits and one earned run in the first six innings while striking out five and walking one. But Logan Harvey led off the seventh inning with a base hit up the middle and then Jake Mueller reached on a throwing error by Krall.
“Game 2 was going pretty well,” Lee said. “Pat Krall played very, very well. Then we hit the home run. From the sixth inning on, the free pass and errors is what got us. The bottom line is when you make mistakes and get to the middle order of their lineup, a guy like Sheets, who is one of the most powerful hitters in our league and in the country, and he made us pay by hitting the big grand slam right there.”
Ryley Gilliam then came on to relieve Krall and gave up a walk and then allowed the tying run to score when Stuart Fairchild singled up the middle to score Harvey with one out. After Clemson brought in Hennessy, Sheets sent his 2-1 offering over the wall in right field for the grand slam and a 6-2 lead.
Wake (29-13, 13-8 ACC) added another run to make score 7-3 before Chase Pinder hit a solo home run to left centerfield for Clemson in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was Pinder’s second home run of the day. He hit a two-run home run in Saturday’s first game. They were his first two home runs of the season.
Clemson took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning after Logan Davidson hit a two-run home run to right field.
Davidson took Conner Johnstone’s 2-0 offering to deep right field for his seventh home run of the season and his 30th and 31st RBIs. Davidson scored Reed Rohlman on the play after the leftfielder got on with a base hit just over the hand of second baseman Jake Mueller.
Wake Forest answered Davidson’s home run in the top of the sixth inning thanks to an errant throw from Grayson Byrd at third base. Ben Breazeale then slammed a single to left field with one out to score Fairchild from third base.
The Tigers will host the College of Charleston on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.