Wake Forest Drops Pitchers' Duel to No. 12 Coastal Carolina, 2-0

Feb. 23, 2010

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Four Coastal Carolina pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout as the 12th-ranked Chanticleers defeated Wake Forest 2-0 on a cloudy and cool Tuesday evening at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.

Wake Forest lost its third game in a row, dropping to 2-3 on the season, while Coastal Carolina improved to 3-1 with the win.

The pitching staffs for both teams were dominant. Coastal allowed just four hits in the game, including only one in the first seven innings. Wake Forest also had its best game of the season on the mound, giving up just two runs on five hits, with none of the hits coming after the fourth inning.

Jim Birmingham (1-0) earned the win for Coastal, tossing five innings of one-hit baseball. Birmingham, who retired the last seven batters he faced, walked two and struck out two batters.

Austin Fleet earned his second save of the season for the Chanticleers, allowing a hit with one strikeout and a walk in a scoreless ninth inning. Josh Conway tossed two scoreless innings in relief, while Ryan Connolly worked one inning of scoreless baseball.

Rico Noel and Daniel Bowman each had an RBI for Coastal. Bowman and Chance Gilmore scored the two Chanticleer runs.

Making his first start, freshman Justin Van Grouw (0-1) was the tough luck loser, tossing four solid innings and giving up two runs on five hits, while striking out three.

Mark Adzick, Ryan McGrath and Michael Dimock combined for five hitless innings out of the bullpen. Adzick struck out one and walked one in 1.1 innings, while McGrath was perfect in his 1.2 innings of work. Dimock closed the game, tossing two perfect innings and striking out one.

Freshman shortstop Patrick Blair led Wake offensively, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Ryan Semeniuk and Carlos Lopez also added a hit for the Demon Deacon attack.

After neither team was able to get much going in the first two innings, Coastal Carolina plated a run in the top of the third. Gilmore led off the inning with a single through the right side and then stole second with one out in the inning. After Taylor Motter flew out to right field, Noel lined a double into the right-center field gap to put the Chanticleers in front 1-0.

Wake Forest had its first scoring chance of the game in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Mark Rhine drew a walk and moved to second on a single to right field by Blair. A double steal moved Blair and Rhine to second and third with one out. Birmingham was able to wiggle out of the jam by striking out Seminiuk swinging and getting Steven Brooks to fly out to center.

Coastal Carolina doubled the lead with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Bowman led off the inning with his first home run of the season over the fence in right-center field.

The Demon Deacons again put two runners in scoring position in the eighth inning. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Blair recorded his second hit of the game, hitting a single into right field. Semeniuk followed with a single to left center to move Blair to second. Brooks grounded out to second to end the threat.

Wake was able to get the tying run on base in the ninth inning. Lopez led off the inning by lining a ball off the foot of Fleet that rolled into foul territory for an infield single. After Mac Williamson struck out looking, Mike Murray flied out to the warning track in deep left field for the second out of the inning. Austin Stadler drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Ryan Lloyd hit a ball into the hole between first and second, but Coastal second baseman Tommy La Stella gathered the ball in shallow right field and threw out Lloyd to end the game.

Wake Forest continues its 13-game homestand this weekend as it welcomes Kent State to Wake Forest Baseball Park for a four-game series. Game times are set for 4 p.m. on Friday, 1 and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

For all of the latest information on Wake Forest baseball, please log on to www.WakeForestSports.com or, for up-to-the minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account @WFUBaseball or www.twitter.com/WFUBaseball.



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