Deacons Take Early Lead but Fall to LSU 4-3
Feb. 19, 2011
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Wake Forest baseball team took an early 2-0 lead against LSU after two innings, but the Tigers rallied back to defeat the Demon Deacons 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU has now taken the first two games of the series and is 2-0 on the year, while the Deacons drop to 0-2.
Sophomore starting pitcher Tim Cooney had a solid first outing of the season but took the loss to fall to 0-1. Cooney went 6.1 innings, allowed three earned runs, struck out three and walked just one batter. Junior Michael Dimock pitched the final 1.2 innings and gave up just one hit, a solo home run to Mikie Mahtook.
LSU's Ryan Eades earned the win in 2.1 innings of relief, while Matty Ott picked up the save in an inning of work.
Wake Forest threatened in the first inning and was able to take its first lead of the series 1-0 after three consecutive singles. Mark Rhine began the rally with a one-out infield single to the shortstop. Steven Brooks delivered a shot to center field to put runners at first and second before Matt Conway ripped a line drive off of the left field wall to bring Rhine home and move Brooks to third base.
Rhine (11), Brooks (14) and Conway (20) all extended their double-digit game hitting streaks with their base hits in the first inning.
The Demon Deacons tacked on another run in the top of the second when Harris drove a full-count, two-out pitch opposite field over the left field wall. The solo shot was the first-career hit for Harris after going 0-for-3 in the season opener yesterday.
The Tigers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second when JaCoby Jones hit a bloop single to shallow center field to bring home Mason Katz from third base. After two and a half scoreless innings, LSU tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth on a squeeze bunt by Tyler Hanover that brought Jones in from third.
Jones again came up big for the Tigers in the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo shot to left center that gave LSU its first lead of the game at 3-2. Mahtook added to the lead in the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run of his own over the left field wall. The homer was Mahtook's third of the series, and it made the score 4-2 heading to the top of the ninth.
Morgan led off the top of the ninth with his homer to bring the Demon Deacons within one run at 4-3. Sophomore Mac Williamson followed with a single through the right side to give Wake a runner on with no outs and chase Eades from the game.
Junior Carlos Lopez was next up and nearly gave Wake Forest a 5-4 lead, but the would-be home run down the left field line curved just foul and kept the Tigers in front. Ott would eventually get Lopez swinging, but Williamson stole second on the pitch to put a runner in scoring position with one down.
Harris then grounded out to second and advanced Williamson 90 feet closer, but Ott struck out freshman Evan Stephens swinging to end the game and preserve the win for the Tigers.
Wake Forest played solid defense on the day and was led in the field by Williamson who made a diving catch to rob Mahtook of a hit and a lunging catch running towards the wall to take a hit away from shortstop Austin Nola.
The Deacs and the Tigers will wrap up the three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST at Alex Box Stadium.