Demon Deacons Hold On for 8-4 Win Over Kent State

Feb. 17, 2007

Box Score

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest scored five runs in the first inning and held off a pair of Kent State rallies late in the game for an 8-4 win over the Golden Flashes Saturday afternoon at Hooks Stadium.

Junior Eric Niesen pitched a solid 6 1/3 innings, and sophomore Evan Ocheltree homered to lead the Demon Deacons (2-0).

Wake Forest batted around in the first inning to score five runs off Kent State starter Dominique Rodgers. Sophomore Dustin Hood and junior Austin Jones recorded two-run singles for the Deacons.

Rodgers recovered to stymie the Deacs through the next four innings. Wake had just one hit, a lead-off single by sophomore Allan Dykstra in the second, during the stretch. Rodgers faced the minimum in each of the four innings before getting relieved by Robert Sabo to start the sixth.

Ocheltree greeted Sabo with the Deacons' first home run of the season. Ocheltree lined the second pitch he saw from Sabo over the wall in right center.

Niesen faced the minimum in four of the first five innings, allowing just one hit and inducing four ground-ball double plays.

Kent State (2-0) got to Niesen in the sixth, batting around to plate four runs. The Golden Flashes had four-straight, one-out singles off Niesen to load the bases before senior Kirby Wedekind came on in relief. A Wake Forest fielding error and a two-run single off Wedekind brought three runs across. All four runs in the inning were charged to Niesen.

The Deacs added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Linnenkohl led off with a walk and came around to score on a wild pitch three batters later. Fox drove in Dykstra with a single to left to score the second run in the inning.



Niesen (1-0) gave up four runs on the day, all earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks.

Wedekind pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit. It was Wedekind's first outing for the Demon Deacons in three years after transferring to Georgia and then returning last season.

"I don't know how to describe it. It was a weight off my shoulders," said Wedekind of his return to the mound. "I'm been watching the guys from the stands for so long, it was great to finally get back out there."

"[When I came on in the sixth] I looked around and the bases were loaded with one out. I just wanted to get a ground ball, get a double play and get out of the situation. Most relievers look forward to situations like that."

Freshman Alex Wiesner made his Wake Forest debut, coming on for Wedekind to start the ninth. Wiesner retired the first two batters before Kent State loaded the bases with a walk, a single and an error.

Junior Ben Hunter relieved Wiesner and got Andrew Davis to fly out to left to end the game. The save was Hunter's first of the season.

Hood and Jones each totaled two RBIs, while Dykstra and Ocheltree both scored two runs apiece to lead Wake.

Chris Tremblay led the Golden Flashes at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Rodgers (0-1) pitched five innings for Kent State and allowed five runs on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks.

Wake Forest will look for the series sweep of Kent State Sunday afternoon at Hooks Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

NCAA Tennis Central