Finding a way to win
#17 Clemson (26-11, 12-6 ACC) extended their winning streak to double digits courtesy of a two run walk off homerun by freshman Steven Duggar, while also earning the sweep against Wake Forest (19-20, (4-14 ACC) 6-4 Sunday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Thomas Brittle started things off for Clemson in the bottom of the first inning with a single to center field. Brittle then preceded to steal second and third base.
Shane Kennedy awarded his efforts with an RBI double to deep right center field to give Clemson an early 1-0 lead.
Steve Wilkerson then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Garrett Boulware from third base.
Wake Forest got two runs back in the third inning off a Evan Stephens double down the right field line, which scored Mark Rhine all the way from first. Pat Blair then reached on a fielder’s choice, and then scored on a errant throw by Jay Baum.
Clemson came right back in the bottom of the third on a two RBI single by Steven Duggar, scoring Shane Kennedy from third and Steve Wilkerson from second.
Things went silent until the bottom of the seventh when a Pat Blair single down the left field line scored Evan Stephens and Kevin Conway to tie things back up at four.
Both teams then went scoreless until Duggar’s walk off homerun in the eleventh. It was his first homerun of the year.
“Our team’s been battling all season long. We’ve been in some late game situations all year, and we just keep finding ways to pull it out,” said the freshman right fielder.
“Wake Forest was a great team all weekend, they battled with us, but it was good to come out of here with a win,” said Duggar.
Senior Scott Firth got the win by pitching three scoreless innings, while only giving up one hit and striking out four.
“I knew as long as I kept up in the game, kept it tied out there, that we eventually were going to come up with a big hit,” said Firth.
Clemson returns to action for a mid week game on Wednesday against the Furman Paladins.
First pitch for that game is set for 6:30 P.M. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
NOTES: All extra inning games this season have gone 11 innings. Clemson is 2-2 in those extra innings games, and 2-0 against teams in North Carolina. Clemson’s last 10 game winning streak was in 2006, which stretched all the way to 17 games. Clemson had two walk off hits in the Wake Forest series. Both of those hits were by freshman (Tyler Krieger on Friday). This is the first time since 2010 that Clemson has gotten back to back sweeps against conference opponents.