Third baseman Chris Fornaci had a home run and run-scoring single among his four hits as
"I try to always play with a little fire like that," Fornaci said.
The Waves (31-28) scored three runs in the first inning and Fornaci homered in the second for a 4-0 lead.
Pepperdine scored three runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by a Hutton Moyer two-run double to left field, for a 7-0 lead.
Tyler Krieger and Chris Okey each had two-run singles and Tyler Slaton hit a two-run triple that gave the Tigers a one-run lead in the seventh.
The Waves tied the score in the eighth inning and Matt Gelalich scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error following a double by Manny Jefferson. Two batters later, Fornaci padded the lead with his RBI single.
Max Gamboa (6-2) struck out four batters and gave up only one hit in 2 1/3 innings to earn the victory.
"They came out and punched us right in the mouth, down by seven," said Clemson outfielder Steven Duggar, who had a single, two walks and two runs.
"The attitude from there was to put some at-bats together and try to chip away. I was extremely proud of the way our lineup handled our at-bats from then on out, and we were able to put ourselves in a position to win."
Pepperdine got off to a quick start when Hutton Moyer walked with one out in the first and came around on singles by Brad Anderson and Aaron Barnett. Matt Gelalich's sacrifice fly scored a second run, and Manny Jefferson's single and an error in the outfield brought home the third.
The Waves play another elimination game Sunday.