Wake Forest Falls to Kent State in 12 Innings, 11-5

Feb. 27, 2010

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Kent State Golden Flashes broke a 5-5 tie with six runs in the top of the 12th inning and handed Wake Forest an 11-5 loss in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.

Wake Forest drops to 2-5 on the season, while Kent State improves to 3-2 on the year.

With the game tied at five going into the 12th inning, Kent State scored six runs in the top half of the inning, regaining the lead with an 11-5 score. The Golden Flashes opened up the lead when first baseman/pitcher Kyle McMillan singled to drive in right fielder Ben Klafczynski from second base, giving the Golden Flashes a 6-5 lead. Kent State extended their lead to six with a two-out single by shortstop Jimmy Rider followed by a three-run home run by infielder Travis Shaw.

Wake Forest went down in order in the bottom of the 12th inning, giving Kent State their second win of the series.

Golden Flashes relief pitcher Kyle McMillan (1-0) earned the win, pitching 2.0 innings, allowing one earned run. For the Demon Deacons, freshman relief pitcher Niko Spezial (0-2) suffered the loss, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up four runs, one earned.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Wake Forest freshman starter Tim Cooney (1-0) had a solid outing, throwing 6.0 innings, giving up three runs, none earned, and recording seven strikeouts. Kent State starter Kyle Hallock (0-0) went 5.1 innings, giving up four earned runs.

Kent State reliever Ryan Mace pitched exceptionally well out of the bullpen, throwing 4.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts.

Out of the Wake Forest bullpen, Joel Ernst and Zach White each turned in scoreless outings. Ernst threw an inning, giving up one hit, wihle White allowed a hit and a walk in 0.2 of an inning.

Junior center fielder Steven Brooks led the Demon Deacons at the plate, hitting a go-ahead three run home run to straight-away left field in the bottom of the third inning. Left fielder Ryan Semeniuk also had a solid game, going 2-4 at the plate and scoring two runs.

Rider led the Golden Flashes at the plate, going 5-6 with a walk, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Left fielder Anthony Gallas went 2-5 at the plate with two RBIs.

This game marked the first extra inning game of the season for Wake Forest and the first time that the Demon Deacons have played a 12 inning game since June 3, 2007 against Texas.

The Golden Flashes grabbed an early lead on a bizarre play in the top of the first inning after Jimmy Rider grounded a hard hit ball to Wake Forest shortstop Pat Blair. Reaching to his left, Blair fielded the ball cleanly but threw errantly to first basemen Matt Conway, allowing Rider to take two bases on the error. The play looked to be over, but no Wake Forest player was covering the plate, allowing Rider to bolt for the plate and score the first run of the game.

The Demon Deacons took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning on a two-out, three-run home run to left field by center fielder Steven Brooks, his first of the season. Earlier in the inning, second baseman Bentley Heyman blooped a single into shallow right and later advanced to second base on a wild pitch by Golden Flashes pitcher Kyle Hallock. Demon Deacon left fielder Ryan Semeniuk got on with one out when he was hit by a pitch, and both runners crossed the plate after the Brooks home run.

Wake Forest extended its lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning when third basemen Taylor Kaprive singled to shallow right field, bringing home catcher Mike Lubanski. The Wake Forest catcher had singled to left earlier in the inning and stole second base during Kaprive's at-bat, his first steal of the season.

The Golden Flashes cut the Demon Deacon lead down to 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning with two runs in the inning. With runners on first and second and one out in the inning, Rider singled to left field, scoring catcher Cory Hindel and advancing second baseman Jared Humphreys to third. After recording the second out in the inning, Kent State struck again when left fielder Anthony Gallas grounded a single into left field, scoring Humphreys. However, the Deacons were able to minimize the damage as the Golden Flashes left runners on the corners to finish the inning.

The Golden Flashes again threatened to score in the top of the eighth inning after a one-out walk by Gallas and a two-out single by right fielder Ben Klafczynski. With runners at the corners and two outs in the inning, the Deacons brought in relief pitcher Ryan McGrath who induced a fly ball by Kent State pinch hitter Kyle McMillen. Deacon right fielder Mac Williamson erased the scoring threat with a spectacular sliding catch to end the inning.

Kent State tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the ninth with a bases-loaded walk. After two walks to start the inning, the Demon Deacons brought in Spezial, but a Humphreys sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position for Kent State. After intentionally walking Rider, Spezial struck out third baseman Travis Shaw for the second out in the inning. With the bases loaded, Gallas drew a four-pitch walk to drive in the fourth run of the game for the Golden Flashes. However, Kent State could not capitalize on a second bases-loaded opportunity as Spezial induced a pop-up from David Lyon.

In the top of the eleventh inning, the Golden Flashes took a 5-4 lead on a sacrifice fly by Shaw. Kent State began the inning with two straight walks, and a perfectly placed bunt by Rider loaded the bases with no outs. Shaw then hit a deep fly ball that was fielded by Deacon left fielder Ryan Semeniuk, scoring catcher Cory Hindel.

After falling behind for the first time in the game in the top of the eleventh inning, the Deacons responded with a two-out RBI double by pinch hitter Ryan Lloyd, scoring Semeniuk to tie the game at 5-5. Semeniuk had reached base on a two-out single, and he quickly advanced to second base on defensive indifference. Wake Forest and Kent State will continue their four-game series with the second game of Saturday's double header, the third of the series. Junior Brandon Johnson (0-1, 9.00) will go for the Demon Deacons, while redshirt junior Brennen Glass (0-0, 0.00) will start for the Golden Flashes.

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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