Four-Run First Helps WCU Down Deacs 7-2
Feb. 20, 2013
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina jumped on Wake Forest early with four runs in the bottom of the first inning, as the Catamounts defeated the Demon Deacons 7-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Hennon Stadium.
Wake Forest falls to 3-2 on the young season, while Western Carolina improves to 3-1. Catamount starter Adam Curtis earned the win in 6.0 innings of work, and Preston Hatcher earned his third save of the year. The Deacs' Justin Van Grouw suffered the loss in his first start of the year.
Trailing 5-1 heading into the top of the eighth inning, the Demon Deacons were able to bring the go-ahead run to the plate but only scored one run and stranded the bases loaded.
Three consecutive infield singles with one out by Joey Rodriguez, Jack Carey and Pat Blair loaded the bases. Matt Conway then singled to shallow right field to push everyone up a base and make the score 5-2. Hatcher entered the game for WCU at that time and struck out consecutive batters to end the threat and sat down the Deacs in order in the ninth to complete the save.
Conway was the only Demon Deacon to turn in a multi-hit day, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Rodriguez, Carey, Blair, Luke Czajkowski, Conor Keniry and Brett Armour all recorded one hit on the day.
Western Carolina came out on fire at the plate in the bottom of the first with four runs on five hits, including two doubles and a triple.
The score would remain 4-0 until there were two outs in the top of the fifth when Armour blasted a ball over the right center field wall for his first home run of the season.
The three-run deficit did not last long, as WCU's Julian Ridings answered Armour with a solo shot of his own to lead off the bottom of the fifth and push the lead back to four at 5-1.
Innings six and seven were scoreless for both teams before Wake Forest's eighth-inning rally fell short. The Catamounts then tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to cap the scoring.
The Demon Deacons will play for the first time at home this weekend when they kick off an eight-game homestand. Wake Forest will host Youngstown State on Friday at 4 p.m.