Tiger beat Wake Forest to snap 7-game losing streak
It took Clemson more than six innings to finally get to Wake Forest pitching. But it eventually did.
Through the first six innings in Game 1 Friday night, the Tigers had just four hits on Demon Deacons’ starter Ryan Cusick. However, they produced two runs on three hits in the decisive seventh inning, while rallying for a 5-2 victory at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
The best thing for Clemson is the win snapped a seven-game losing streak, and more importantly a five-game losing streak in the ACC.
“I am really proud of our guys,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “When you score three runs in the seventh and eighth innings and held the opposition at bay and we did not give up any runs late in the game. That is something we need to do a better job of and we certainly did that tonight.”
The Tigers (16-18, 10-12 ACC) plated the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the seventh inning when Keir Meredith singled to right field with one out, scoring Bryce Teodosio and Sam Hall.
But Hall initially was called out. The senior immediately pleaded with Lee to get the play reviewed, believing he got his hand on the plate before Wake catcher Shane Muntz applied the tag.
Hall was right. He did get his left hand on the late first, as it gave Clemson a 4-2 cushion. Teodosio had a two-out double in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Adam Hackenberg for an insurance run.
“We had a couple of games in a row where it did not go our way late, where we played pretty good and things just did not go our way,” Lee said. “Tonight, it did go our way because we had some big at-bats and our bullpen was outstanding.”
Meredith finished the game with three hits in four at-bats with 2 RBIs. Hall officially scored on an error from Wake right fielder Chris Lanzilli. Hall finished the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a double.
Teodosio was also 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in.
Though he did not get a decision, Clemson starter Mack Anglin pitched brilliantly for the Tigers. He allowed just two runs on four hits, while striking out 11 batters and walking three. However, he did hit two batters.
The righty threw 113 pitches overall, 67 of which went for strikes in 6 1/3 innings of work.
“Last week, I really kind of let the team down (at Miami). I did not have my best outing. So, to be able to bounce back from that and make adjustments, that was big,” Anglin said.
Geoffrey Gilbert, who came on with one out in the seventh inning, was awarded the win, while Nick Hoffman earned the save. He came in for Gilbert to start the eighth inning.
Clemson pitching allowed just five hits and struck out 16 batters.
Clemson took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Hall doubled down the left field line. He later got to second when James Parker drew a one-out walk.
He then stole home on a double-steal attempt with two outs.
Anglin heled Wake (13-18, 6-15 ACC) scoreless until the fifth inning. The Deacons loaded the bases with one out and then scored both runs on passed balls.
However, Meredith evened things up, 2-2, in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out base hit through the right side of the infield, allowing Hackenberg to come home from second base. Hackenberg walked with one out.
“We had to go score some runs and win a ballgame,” Meredith said. “That is all there was to it, honestly.”
The Tigers will try to win on Saturday, too. The two teams will play Game 2 of the series at 3 p.m.
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