After watching Wake Forest’s Brendan Tinsman tie the game with a home run in the top of the ninth inning, Davis Sharpe hit his own home run in the bottom frame, except Sharpe’s was of the walk-off variety.
The first baseman’s two-run bomb to left field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth allowed Clemson to escape the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, 6-4, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
After Dylan Brewer made a brilliant catch to end Wake’s eighth inning, Tinsman hit a home run to left field with one out in the top of the ninth to even things up at 4-4.
But Davis did not allow Tinsman to enjoy his moment, as he blasted his two-out home run to left field to clinch the series for the Tigers. Clemson won Friday’s first game in the three-game series, 5-2.
Kier Meredith led off the Clemson ninth with a base hit through the right side. He scored on the Davis’ home run. He finished the game with two hits and scored twice.
Caden Grice also had two hits for the Tigers, as did catcher Jonathan French.
Brewer saved Geoffrey Gilbert from being charged a loss in the eighth inning when he climbed the wall and robbed Wake Forest’s Chris Lanzilli from a three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning.
Brewer’s catch allowed the Tigers to hang on to their 4-3 lead for just one inning. Clayton inherited runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth when he came in to relieve Gilbert.
He got ahead of Lanzilli in the count, but the Demon Deacons right fielder took the righty’s 1-2 offering and sent it deep to right field. But Brewer saved the lead by climbing the wall and making the play of the day, and maybe the season, for Clemson.
The Tigers had an opportunity to tack on a few insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth when they loaded the bases with two outs. But Sam Hall struck out swinging on a full count to end the rally.
Despite giving up the game-tying home run to Tinsman in the ninth inning, Clayton was awarded the victory. He improved to 5-0.
Wake Forest fell to 13-19 overall and 6-15 in the ACC with the loss.
Clemson ((17-18, 11-12 ACC) took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, thanks in large part to Grice’s two-run home run to center field with two outs in the bottom of the first inning.
Sharpe, who followed Grice’s homer with a four-pitch walk, scored on a wild pitch from Wake starter Rhett Lowder. The Clemson first baseman got to third on another wild pitch and a throwing error from Tinsman, who was playing catcher.
Though he pitched well for the majority of the 5 1/3 innings he worked, Clemson starter Keyshawn Askew gave up three runs with two outs in the top of the fourth inning.
Lanzilli smacked a three-run shot over the wall in left field on an 0-2 pitch from Askew, tying the game. The three runs in the fourth was all the lefty allowed, as he finished the afternoon giving up five hits while striking out six and walking one. He threw 87 pitches, 56 of them for strikes in the no-decision.
The Tigers wasted no time taking back the lead. After Brewer drew a walk on eight pitches, French doubled to left center field, bringing Brewer all the way home from first.
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