Baseball Unable To Sweep Cincinnati; Drops Series Finale, 5-2
Feb. 27, 2005
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest baseball team dropped the finale of their three-game series with Cincinnati, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at Hooks Stadium. The Demon Deacons were trying to complete their first three-game series sweep since the 2003 season.
Wake Forest (4-7) was unable to get anything going offensively for much of the afternoon. The Demon Deacons managed just three hits in the game. When the Deacs did get runners on base, they grounded into a pair of double plays.
Wake Forest's best scoring chance came in the fifth inning. The Demon Deacs loaded the bases with no outs on back-to-back walks from senior Matt Miller and junior Casey Sterk, then a single from freshman Andy Goff. With the heart of the order coming up, Wake Forest appeared on the verge of a big inning, but sophomore Matt Antonelli and senior J.B. Tucker each struckout. Senior first basemen Ryder Mathias then grounded into a fielder's choice and Sterk was forced out at third.
The Deacs were the benefactor of eight more walks, 20 in the past two games, but were unable to take advantage as the stranded 10. It is the seventh time already this season that the Demon Deacons left 10 or more on the base paths.
Wake Forest fell behind early, 2-0, as the Bearcats (4-5) plated two run in their half of the first inning. The Deacs have surrendered at least one first inning run in each of their past seven games.
The Deacs did narrow the gap to 2-1 on Tucker's RBI double. The catcher is the only Demon Deacon with double figure RBIs and leads the club with 14.
After the two-run first inning, Wake Forest starter Matt Hammond (0-3) settled down before running into trouble in the fifth inning. Hammond walked the first two batters of the inning, but came back and retired the next two Bearcats. Hammond got two strikes on Logan Parker, but the designated hitter fouled a handful of pitches off before drilling a three-run home run down the right-field line giving Cincinnati a 5-1 lead.
Wake Forest added a single run in the bottom of the eighth inning on senior Ben Ingold's RBI ground out, but the Deacs were unable to muster anything more.
Bearcats' starting pitcher Sean Munninghuff was not sharp in his 4.0 innings. The right-hander only allowed one earned run and one hit, but walked six. Bryan Wood (2-0) then relieved Munninghuff and was outstanding in a winning effort. Wood worked 3.2 innings and allowed one earned run on a pair of hits. Wood fanned five. Josh Kay was the final Cincinnati pitcher and he tossed a scoreless 1.1 innings to pick up his second save of the season.
Hammond (0-3) tossed 5.0 innings for the Deacons in a losing effort. The right-handed hurler yielded five earned runs on six hits. Hammond was also hurt by four walks.
Sophomore Charlie Mellies and freshman Eric Niesen combined for 4.0 scoreless innings of relief. The duo struckout six and did not walk a batter. The Demon Deacons' bullpen continues to be stellar as they have a 2.43 earned run average through the first 11 games.
Wake Forest's last three-game sweep came on March 14-16, 2003 at Maryland.
The Demon Deacons return to action Wednesday afternoon against High Point. First-pitch for the Deacs and Panthers is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Hooks Stadium.
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