Clemson earned a win in Game 1 of an ACC series for the first time since early April on Thursday night as the Tigers topped Wake Forest 4-3 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Clemson is fighting for a berth in the NCAA Tournament, and the latest projections have the Tigers as one of the final few teams in the field.
Clemson can greatly help its chances to reach the postseason with a series win against the Demon Deacons, and it got off to a good start on Thursday. With the victory in Game 1 the Tigers improve to 32-22 (14-14).
Clemson jumped out to a 4-0 lead against the Demon Deacons, then had to hang on.
Grayson Byrd hit a solo home run in the first inning to get the Tigers on the board and Bryar Hawkins added a solo homer in the second inning to push the lead to 2-0.
Clemson increased its lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Logan Davidson and a squeeze bunt by Kyle Wilkie before Wake Forest battled back.
The Demon Deacons scored an unearned run in the sixth inning and two more unearned runs in the seventh off Clemson starter Mat Clark to cut the lead to 4-3.
But Carson Spiers pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to close out the game.
Clark earned the win for the Tigers to improve to 8-2, while Spiers recorded his 11th save of the season. Colin Peluse suffered the loss for Wake Forest, allowing three earned runs in six innings.
Patrick Frick, Chris Lanzilli and Bobby Seymour each had two hits for the Demon Deacons. Seymour doubled and drove in all three runs.
The two teams will play Friday at 6 p.m. in Game 2 of the series, before closing out the regular season Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Game 3.