May 17, 2012
Winston-Salem, NC –
Wake Forest totaled all five of its runs and all six of its hits in the third and fourth innings and held on for a 5-2 victory over Clemson in front of 648 fans at Wake Forest Baseball Park on Thursday night. The Demon Deacons, who took a 1-0 series lead, improved to 30-22 overall and 11-17 in the ACC. The Tigers fell to 32-22 overall and 16-12 in ACC play.
The Demon Deacons hit five singles in the third inning to score three runs, then a two-out double by Pat Blair plated another run in the fourth inning, while Blair also came around to score on the play thanks to a Tiger error. Richie Shaffer laced a two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning, but it was not enough for Clemson, who outhit Wake Forest 7-6.
Tim Cooney (6-6) pitched 7.2 strong innings to earn the win. He gave up seven hits, two runs, and one walk with four strikeouts. Michael Dimock retired all four batters he faced to record his 12th save of the season.
Clemson starter Dominic Leone (6-4) suffered the loss, as he surrendered six hits, five runs (four earned), and three walks with five strikeouts.
The Demon Deacons used five singles to score the game’s first three runs in the third inning. Brett Armour led off with a line-drive single to left field and Evan Stephens reached on a bunt single. After Blair was unable to get a bunt down to move the runners up a base, he lined a 2-2 pitch down the right-field line for a single to score Armour. Two batters later, Mac Williamson grounded a single through the left side to score Stephens, then Carlos Lopez grounded another single through the left side to plate Blair.
In the fourth inning, Armour reached on a one-out walk. Two batters later, Blair ripped a two-out double to right-center to score Armour. Blair also scored on the play when Jon McGibbon’s throw to third base was errant. Blair had stopped between second and third when McGibbon threw to third base.
The Tigers looked to mount a rally in the sixth inning when Jason Stolz led off with a bloop single to left field. Steve Wilkerson followed with a hard-hit ball headed up the middle, but Cooney snagged the liner out of the air and started a double play.
In the seventh inning, Shaffer led off with a single through the left side, then Phil Pohl blooped a single to left field. Two batters later with one out, McGibbon ripped a grounder headed for right field, but second-baseman Conor Keniry made a diving stop and threw to second to retire Pohl. Spencer Kieboom then popped up to end the inning.
Stolz was hit-by-pitch with one out in the eighth inning, then Wilkerson lined a single to center to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. After Thomas Brittle grounded out to second, Shaffer lined a two-out double to left field to score Stolz and Wilkerson.
Blair went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs, two runs, a walk, and steal to lead the Demon Deacons. Armour added a single and two runs.
Shaffer went 4-for-4 and established a career high for hits. He also tallied two doubles and both of Clemson’s RBIs.
Clemson and Wake Forest will play game-two of the three-game series on Friday at 6:00 PM.
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