Tigers' Comeback Falls Short to Wake, 6-3
To put it bluntly, Mike MacDougal owned the Clemson Tigers on Thursday night.
The lanky 6’5” junior pitched 8 2/3 innings of two-hit baseball as Wake Forest rolled over the Tigers 6-3 in the second round of the ACC baseball tournament.
Although Clemson’s Ryan Mottl turned in a solid pitching performance of his own, Tiger batters were never able to put together any serious offensive threats.
Clemson managed to draw first blood in the third inning when MacDougal walked three consecutive batters to load the bases. Jason Harris then hit a sacrifice fly to left to drive in Henri Stanley and the Tigers took what would be their only lead.
Wake Forest pulled even in the fifth when Matt Price singled to right. Ben Danosky then doubled to advance Price to third. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Chase Voshell plated Price, tying the score at one.
In the sixth inning, Wake Forest took the lead off of a bizarre series of infield hits. Ground balls by John Palmieri and Andrew Riepi both ricocheted off Tiger third baseman Khalil Greene’s glove. Clemson first baseman Jason Harris then made a diving stop on a Corey Slavik grounder but pitcher Ryan Mottl failed to cover first. With the bases loaded, a Mottl fastball sailed over catcher Brian Ellis’ head and Palmieri headed home. Ellis chased down the ball in time to throw to the covering Mottl to record the out. Deacon Matt Price then connected with the only ball to leave the infield in the inning, a single that drove in Riepi and gave the Deacs a lead that they would not relinquish.
The ninth inning saw Wake Forest pad its lead with four hits, including a two run homer by Danny Borrell, and four runs off Tiger relievers Brian Adams and Doug Roper.
Clemson fought back with two runs in the ninth but closer Danny Borrell ended the Tiger rally when he struck out Patrick Boyd to end the game.
MacDougal got the win for Wake Forrest while Ryan Mottl recorded the loss for Clemson.
Clemson, 1-1 in tournament play, moves on into the loser’s bracket to face Maryland Friday at 2:30. In a battle of the tournament’s two top seeds, Wake Forest advances to play Florida State Friday night.