If you’re in the right mood, rewatching a television episode you’ve seen before can be a great way to pass the time on a sunny afternoon. But for Clemson, Saturday’s loss to Wake Forest at Doug Kingsmore Stadium was a rerun they’ll just as soon never experience, again.
For the second straight day, the Tigers rallied in the ninth and pressured the nation’s second-ranked team down to the final pitch. For the second straight day, Clemson’s Cooper Ingle came to the plate with two outs in the ninth and two runners on in a one-run game. And for the second straight day, a Wake reliever came through, retiring Ingle for the final out to strand the winning run and nail down a heart-stopping victory. The Deacons’ 6-5 win was their eighth straight and secured a series sweep of the Tigers.
Despite trailing 6-2 entering the final inning, the Tigers lineup created some drama with a three-run ninth. Caden Grice, who had started the game on the mound but moved to DH in the sixth, led off the inning with an opposite-field homer. Wake Forest (26-3, 10-2) closer Cam Minacci got the next two batters before surrendering consecutive singles to bring the tying run to the plate. Pinch-hitter Jacob Jarrell followed with a “Texas Leaguer” just beyond the shortstop, scoring both runners to trim the lead to one and chase Minacci. Cam Cannarella, representing the winning run, worked out of a 1-2 count to draw a walk against Cole Roland.
Ingle dug into the box with a chance at redemption after leaving two runners stranded in Game 2’s loss. There was a moment of anticipation as the Tigers backstop hit it sharply, but the liner would bring no joy as it wound up in the glove of Wake’s left fielder for the final out.
Clemson (16-13, 2-7) will next play host to Coastal Carolina on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before returning to ACC play with a trip to Florida State, Friday.