Tigers' bats electric in 32-hit, 16-6, 7-4 sweep of Demon Deacons

Clemson takes series 2-1, improves to 5-1 in the ACC

Clemson center fielder Tyler Slaton (18) bats against Appalachian State.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson center fielder Tyler Slaton (18) bats against Appalachian State.

After scratching out just eight hits in their previous 18 innings, Clemson's 14th-ranked Tigers rediscovered their groove at the plate and pounded Wake Forest 16-6 in the first game of a doubleheader at Winston-Salem.

The Tigers followed up in the second session with a 14-hit performance and a 7-4 victory.

In the opener, Clemson, 12-7 overall and 5-1 in the ACC, kept the pressure on the Deacons from start to finish with 18 hits and scored multiple runs in four innings, including a four-run third and a six-run ninth.

With the second-game loss, Wake Forest dropped to 13-8 overall and 3-3 in the ACC. The teams combined for 32 hits in the first game, but the Deacons managed just five hits in the second against Tiger pitchers Jake Long, Clay Bates, Zack Erwin and Matt Campbell.

Matthew Crownover picked up the first-game win by working five innings, allowing eight hits and four runs. Freshman Drew Moyer earned up the save after working four scoreless innings.

In the opener, the teams traded runs in the second inning, before Clemson broke on top with a four-run third. With one out, Tyler Krieger walked, moved to third on a double down the leftfield line by Garrett Boulware, and then scored on a groundout by Steven Duggar.

Chris Okey followed with an RBI single, and then Steve Wilkerson reached on a bunt single, with the runners taking second and third on a throwing error. Jay Baum then doubled to right field, scoring both Wilkerson and Okey and putting the Tigers on top 5-1.

The Tigers padded their lead to 9-1 with a pair of runs in the both the fourth and fifth innings, but then gave five back when Wake Forest scored three in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Clemson turned back the rally with Moyer on the mound, and tacked on a run in the seventh before exploding for six in the ninth, including a two-run homer by Wilkerson and a three-run shot by Slaton.

Slaton and Baum led the Tigers with three hits each, while Boulware, Jon McGibbon, Krieger, Duggar and Wilkerson each had two.

In the nightcap, the Tigers scored a second-inning run on an RBI double by McGibbon, and then added another in the fifth when Boulware led off with a double and scored on a hit by Okey.

Clemson broke on top 5-0 with a three-run sixth. Slaton drew a walk to lead off the inning, and Krieger followed with a two-run homer. Boulware and Duggar reached on base hits, and Boulware scored on a sacrifice fly by Okey.

Clemson's comfortable lead was short-lived. The Deacons struck for four runs in the bottom of the sixth, chased starter Jake Long, and trimmed the Tigers' lead to 5-4.

Bates quelled the sixth inning uprising, and then pitched a hitless, scoreless seventh. Erwin and Campbell finished off the job with back-to-back scoreless innings.

Boulware led the Tigers at the plate by going 3-for-5, while Okey batted in three runs.

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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