Deacs Score Seven in Last At Bat to Defeat Eastern Michigan, 8-7
March 2, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest's offense came to life in the eighth inning with seven runs on five hits, including two from Mark Rhine, to beat Eastern Michigan 8-7 on Friday night at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
With the victory the Demon Deacons improve to 6-4 overall and extend their winning streak to five games. EMU falls to 3-6 overall on the year.
The Deacons' bats caught fire in the eighth as Rhine started the inning with a pinch hit single to center. Mac Williamson was then hit by a pitch before Carlos Lopez walked to load the bases. In another pinch hit situation, Jack Carey brought home the first runs of the inning with a two-RBI single through the left side to cut the deficit to 7-3.
Two batters later, Grant Shambley came in to pinch hit with runners on first and second and delivered a one-out, RBI single to shallow right field to score Lopez and make the score 7-4.
With runners still on first and second, Even Stephens stepped to the plate and contributed an RBI infield single. Carey was able to score from second due to some excellent base running. Pat Blair then walked to load the bases with Rhine coming up to the plate for the second time in the inning.
Rhine, who came into the game with just one hit on the season, recorded his second of the inning when he drilled a double down the left field line that scored Shambley and Stephens to knot the game at 7-7.
With two men in scoring position, Williamson struck out swinging, but the ball caromed away from the EMU catcher, allowing him to reach first safely and Blair to trot home for the game-winning run.
Michael Dimock came in strong for the Deacons as he retired the Eagles in order close out the game in a thrilling victory for Wake Forest. The save was his third of the season.
Rhine and Lopez each had two hits on the day to lead the way for the Deacs. Niko Spezial (1-0) earned his first win of the season after pitching two innings of relief and allowing just one run.
Eastern Michigan got on the board early as they scored five runs on four hits in the top of the first inning.
Justin Van Grouw battled back in the second inning after a tough start by striking out two out of the three batters he faced. He then got some defensive help from Blair at shortstop, who made an outstanding play up the middle to close out the third inning.
EMU added another run in the top of the fourth inning before Wake Forest could finally get on the board in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double by Lopez that scored Williamson.
Sam Ott homered for Eastern Michigan in the top of the eighth inning to give the Eagles a commanding 7-1 lead before the Deacs mounted their impressive comeback.
The Demon Deacons are back in action tomorrow night, as Wake Forest hosts Marshall at 4 p.m. at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.