Stadler Shines in 6-1 Win over New Mexico St.
March 1, 2013
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Austin Stadler struck out six batters and surrendered just three hits through seven innings to help Wake Forest defeat New Mexico State 6-1 on Friday afternoon at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
The Demon Deacons are now 8-3 on the year, which is the best start to a season since 2006 for Wake Forest. That year, the Deacs began 14-3 through their first 17 games. The Aggies fall to 3-7.
Stadler moved to 3-0 through his first three starts and has pitched 7.0 innings in each of his outings so far. His only blemish of the night was a solo home run by Derek Umphres in the top of the sixth inning. NMSU started Christopher Bradley was knocked out after 4.2 innings and took the loss to 0-3 on the year.
The Wake Forest offense gave Stadler all the run support he needed in the top of the first inning by scoring three runs and taking the lead for good.
Evan Stephens - who went 3-for-5 on the day with a run and an RBI - led off the bottom of the first inning with a sharp ground ball through the right side to get the rally started. Grant Shambley followed with a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt to move Stephens to second, and Pat Blair drew his first of three walks on the day to put runners on first and second.
Matt Conway then singled up the middle to score Stephens and put the Deacs up 1-0. The first-inning hit extended Conway's team-leading hitting streak to nine consecutive games. Jack Carey followed with an RBI-single up the middle to score Blair and put runners on the corners.
Three consecutive one-out walks in the bottom of the fifth by Keniry, Rhine and Brett Armour loaded the bases, and Stephens drove in one run with a single to left field. Later in the inning, Blair drew another bases-loaded walk to score Armour and give Wake Forest a 5-0 lead.
Umphres put the Aggies on the board with his second homer of the year in the top of the sixth, but the Deacs got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning. Carey began the inning with a single into right field, and three batters later, Rhine doubled into the left center field gap to bring Carey all the way home from first.
The Demon Deacons drew 10 walks on the day, with Blair and Rhine collecting three apiece. Carey joined Stephens as the only Deacons to record multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
After Stadler departed, Conway moved from first base to the mound and finished the final 2.0 innings without giving up a run and striking out three batters.
Wake Forest and New Mexico State will be back at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park tomorrow for another 4 p.m. contest.