Big Seventh Inning Leads Wake Forest Past Minnesota 7-5
Feb. 25, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Sparked by a five-run seventh inning, the Wake Forest baseball team defeated Minnesota 7-5 in come-from-behind fashion Friday evening at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
The Demon Deacons have now won two straight games and improve to 2-3 on the season. Minnesota, a participant both the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Regional Tournament, drops to 1-3.
Junior Michael Dimock again earned the victory for Wake Forest and now has a perfect 2-0 record. Dimock pitched two innings and gave up just one earned run out of the bullpen. Reliever Billy Soule (1-1) took the loss for the Golden Gophers.
Junior starter Austin Stadler went 5.2 innings and was just one strikeout away from tying a career-high with 10 on the night. Stadler labored through the first inning when Minnesota scored two runs but settled down and was very effective the rest of the way.
Freshman Charlie Morgan had the best game of his young career, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a home run and a career-best three RBIs. Sophomores Matt Conway and Mac Williamson were also both 2-for-4 and recorded two RBIs apiece. Williamson's run contribution came on his first home run of the season in the seventh.
Minnesota got on the board in the top of the first inning when Nick O'Shea sent a double down the left field line that plated AJ Pettersen and Justin Gominsky.
Wake Forest was able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first after Morgan sent a hard hit ball past the Gopher first baseman to bring home freshman James Harris from second. Harris had reached base on a walk and then moved to second on a single by Conway.
Morgan again accounted for Wake Forest's run in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo homer to right center field. The home run was his second of the season and tied the score at 2-2.
Stadler was practically untouchable in innings two through five, allowing just one base runner on a base hit by Justin Gominsky and striking out eight batters during that time. At one point, he struck out six consecutive batters, spanning from the last out in the third inning through the second out in the fifth inning.
Minnesota scored one run in both the sixth and seventh innings to go ahead 4-2, but the Demon Deacons exploded for five runs in the bottom of the seventh to take their first lead of the game at 7-4.
Sophomore Pat Blair started the rally with a one-out walk and reached second after Harris singled through the right side. Senior Steven Brooks walked one batter later to load the bases for Conway. The Deacs' cleanup batter came through with a hard shot to right field on an 0-2 count that brought home two runs and moved Brooks to third base.
With the score tied at 4-4, Morgan then drove home his third run of the game on a high chopper to third base that scored Brooks and made the score 5-4. Morgan was out at first on the play and Conway made his way to second. Williamson then hit a towering shot to left field that made its way through the wind and easily cleared the wall, giving the Deacons a 7-4 advantage.
The Golden Gophers got one run back in the eighth to make the score 7-5, but freshman Chris Willson retired Minnesota in order in the bottom of the ninth, striking out two batters to record his first collegiate save.
The Demon Deacons will return to action tomorrow when they host another Big Ten opponent, Northwestern, at 6 p.m.