The Clemson Insider looks back at No. 12 Clemson’s 9-4 win at Wake Forest on Sunday afternoon at David F. Couch Ballpark to sweep the three-game series.
The Tigers (29-11, 14-7 ACC) broke open a scoreless game with four runs in the fourth inning. Chris Williams started things off with a one-out single and Grayson Byrd drew a walk before a wild pitch set up Kyle Wilkie’s two-run double to put Clemson on the board. Patrick Crowmell would follow with a walk, but ball four was a wild pitch so Cromwell kept running all the way to second which allowed Wilkie to come around to score on the throw. Jordan Greene would follow with a squeeze RBI sac bunt to make it 4-0 Tigers. Clemson added two runs to their lead in the fifth as Williams and Byrd hit back-to-back solo homers to make it 6-0. The Demon Deacons (18-23, 10-11 ACC) would cut the lead in half in the sixth with a solo homer and a two-out, two-run single. Wake Forest would hit another solo homer in the seventh to cut the deficit to 6-4. The Tigers put the game away in the eighth as Wilkie hit a leadoff homer and Drew Wharton later followed with a solo homer before a RBI double from Logan Davidson would put Clemson ahead 9-4 and give the Tigers their first three-game at Wake Forest since 2005.
The game changed in the fourth and fifth innings. Clemson used three hits, two walks, aggressive base running, and small ball to take a 4-0 lead in the fourth and then used the long ball in the fifth to extend their lead to 6-0.
What went right?
Jake Higginbotham had a strong start, pitching 5.0 scoreless innings of four-hit ball with one walk and three strikeouts to earn his sixth win of the season. Ryley Gilliam was outstanding out of the bullpen, earning his second save in two days with 2.2 scoreless innings while allowing a single hit and a walk with five strikeouts. Wharton had a team-high three hits while Williams, Byrd, and Wilkie each had two hits as the Tigers had 12 hits total. Wilkie drove in a game-high three runs and each Clemson starter reached base at least once in the game.
What went wrong?
The Tigers had some base running issues early in the game, making two base running mistakes in the first inning. Travis Marr had a rough outing, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk in 0.2 innings.