Wake Takes Title Over Tigers, 9-5

by - Correspondent -

After shutting down its previous ACC tournament opponents with great pitching, Wake Forest had to rely on another element to defeat Clemson in the championship game: great hitting.

After spotting the Tigers a 5-0 lead, Wake Forest battled back to win its second consecutive ACC championship by blitzing Clemson pitchers for a combined twelve hits and nine runs in the middle three innings.

Wake Forest goes home to Winston-Salem for its first round NCAA tournament games while Clemson waits to see where they will open tournament play.

Clemson jumped on Wake Forest in the third inning with five runs off five hits. Brian Ellis started things off with a single to right. Bradley LeCroy then doubled off the right field wall, advancing Ellis to third. Henri Stanley drove Ellis home with a ground out and LeCroy moved to third. Patrick Boyd singled, bringing home LeCroy and giving Clemson a 2-0 lead.

After Kurt Bultmann hit into a fielder’s choice, Jason Harris doubled to left. Tiger third baseman Khalil Greene followed with a towering two-run blast that cleared the “blue monster” in Durham Athletic Park’s left field, clearing the bases and putting the Tigers comfortably ahead 5-0.

For Clemson, things would go downhill from there.

Wake Forest roared to life in the fourth inning behind Andrew Riepe’s double to the left field corner. Following a Corey Slavik single to center, Matt Price drilled Tiger pitcher Steve Reba’s offering into the night sky and out of the stadium, cutting Clemson’s lead to two, 5-3.

The Deacons continued to plow through Clemson pitching in the fifth. Jon Palmieri singled to center and advanced to second when Tiger shortstop Bradley LeCroy fumbled the throw to second base. Danny Borrell then singled to right field, driving in Palmieri. Tournament MVP Riepe singled to left, sending Borrell to second. Tiger reliever Brandt Cook’s wild pitch allowed Borrell and Riepe to advance to third and second, respectively. Corey Slavik followed with a single to center field and Borrell scored, tying the game at 5-5. Riepe came home on Matt Price’s ground ball and Wake Forest took the lead for good, 6-5.

The Deacons added three more runs in the sixth to put the Tigers away. John Palmieri drove in two runners with a single and Riepe had a RBI single of his own to provide Wake Forest with its final 9-5 margin.

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