Deacs Take Series Opener Over Clemson, 5-2
May 17, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the third inning and added two more in the fourth to defeat Clemson 5-2 on Thursday evening at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
With the win, Wake Forest improves to 30-22 on the season (11-17 Atlantic Coast Conference), marking the Demon Deacons' first 30-win season since winning 34 games in 2007. Clemson falls to 32-22, 16-12 ACC.
Tim Cooney earned the win for Wake Forest, giving up seven hits while allowing two runs in 7.2 innings of work to improve to 6-6 on the season. The junior southpaw also recorded four strikeouts in addition to retiring nine of the first 11 batters that he faced. Dominic Leone picked up the loss for the Tigers to fall to 6-4 on the year.
The Deacs struck first with three runs in the third inning on five hits. Armour led off the inning with a base hit to left field, and Stephens followed with a bunt single to put runners on first and second.
An RBI single by Blair into right field plated Armour for the Deacs' first run of the game, and two batters later, Williamson drove an RBI single through the left side to bring Stephens around to score. Lopez then followed with a single of his own through the left side to plate Blair and give Wake Forest an early 3-0 advantage.
The Deacs added two more runs to their total in the bottom of the fourth when Armour drew a one-out walk and Blair followed two batters later with an RBI double to right center that scored Armour from first. The throw home was cut off by Clemson first baseman Jon McGibbon, and the Tigers had Blair in a rundown situation. However, the throw from McGibbon to third base went into the left field bullpen and Blair was able to score, as well, to make the game 5-0.
Neither team scored over the next two innings, but Clemson would get two runs in the top of the eighth on a two-out, two-RBI double to left field by Richie Shaffer. Shaffer was an impressive 4-for-4 at the plate on the day for the Tigers, accounting for more than half of his team's seven hits.
Senior closer Michael Dimock entered the game in relief for the Deacs with two outs in the eighth inning, allowing no hits and no runs while striking out one over 1.1 innings to earn his 12th save of the season.
The Deacs return to action tomorrow evening when they take on Clemson in Game 2 of the series. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.