WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Kyle Wilkie’s clutch two-out double in the top of the eighth inning helped No. 13 Clemson rally from a three-run deficit to defeat Wake Forest, 4-3, Saturday, while also winning the series with its second straight win over the Deacons.
The Tigers (28-11, 13-7 ACC) rallied from three-runs down on Friday night at David Couch Ballpark to beat the Demon Deacons on Friday night in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Brooks Crawford had one of his best performances of the season on the mound for Clemson. The righty went seven innings and gave up five hits and three runs, all earned to record his fourth win of the season in six decisions.
“You have to give Brooks Crawford a lot of credit. I thought he had an outstanding start for us,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said after the game.
“He was able to get deep into the ballgame and he was able to handle some adversity there in third and the fourth inning, and quite honestly they hit just one ball really good off of him.”
Carson Spiers and Ryley Gilliam finished it off for the Tigers by pitching two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth innings.
Wake Forest (18-22, 10-10 ACC) jumped to the lead in the third inning when they plated two runs. A 370-foot home run by first baseman Bobby Seymour in the fourth inning stretched the lead to 3-0 for the Demon Deacons.
The Tigers only had two hits going into the sixth inning, but they awoke to tie the game. Jordan Greene walked to start the inning before Kier Meredith doubled to right center advancing Greene to third.
Logan Davidson drew a second walk to load the bases, and a balk called on Wake pitcher Morgam McSweeney allowed Greene to come home for Clemson’s first run. Seth Beer then grounded to first, scoring Meredith and advancing Davidson to third.
“I was real proud of our ability to manufacturer some runs,” Lee said.
After Beer’s RBI scored Meredith, Chris Williams battled at the plate for eight pitches before he hit a sacrifice fly to score Davidson, tying the game at 3.
“What a competitive at-bat,” Lee said. “He just fouled pitches off, fouled pitches off and then hit a bullet to left for a sac fly. That was a huge run for us to tie the ballgame.”
The Tigers grabbed the lead in the top of the eighth as Beer hustled to beat out a double to left center, and after two ground ball outs, Wilkie doubled to right to score Beer with what turned out to be the game-winning run.
“You give Seth credit for hitting the ball up the middle and then hustling out a double which puts us in scoring position,” Lee said. “Then we get Kyle Wilkie, who we bumped up to the six hole because he does such a good job getting competitive at-bats for us, comes up big with a huge double.”
Clemson will go for the sweep Sunday at 1 p.m., when it faces Wake in Game 3 of the series.