Cooney and Lopez Power Deacs Past Marshall, 6-1
March 3, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest starting pitcher Tim Cooney recorded nine strikeouts and allowed just one run through eight innings, and Carlos Lopez hit a pair of home runs as the Demon Deacons defeated Marshall 6-1 Saturday evening at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
The win marks the sixth straight for Wake Forest as they improve to 7-4 on the season while Marshall drops to 4-6.
Marshall's starting pitcher Mike Mason had not allowed a single run prior to today's game, but the Demon Deacon offense exploded for 11 hits, nine of which came against Mason.
Lopez recorded another hit in addition to his pair of homers while also scoring two runs and notching three RBIs. Two other Deacs recorded multi-hit games on the evening, as Pat Blair finished with two hits and two runs scored, and Mac Williamson notched two hits to go along with three RBIs.
Cooney struck out the first two batters of the game and recorded two more strikeouts in the second inning to get the momentum going early for the Deacs.
Lopez put Wake Forest on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when he launched a home run over the left field wall to give Wake Forest a 1-0 advantage.
Cooney picked up three more strikeouts over the next two innings while holding the Thundering Herd without a run. The Deacs added to their run total in the bottom of the fourth when Williamson led off with a walk to set up a two-run homer by Lopez, his second home run of the game and third of the season.
Lopez hit the home run in almost the exact same spot as his first bomb, sending the ball over the left field wall to extend Wake Forest's lead to 3-0. The pair of home runs marked the sixth multi-home run game of Lopez's career.
Cooney then struck out two more Thundering Herd batters in the top of the fifth before the Demon Deacon offense scored again in the bottom of the inning. Blair recorded a two-out single, and Mark Rhine advanced Blair to third after driving the ball deep down the left field line for a double.
Williamson came up to bat next and drove a shot down the left field line for a two-RBI single that brought both Blair and Rhine across the plate to extend the Wake Forest lead to 5-0.
Marshall picked up their only run of the game in the sixth inning as Eric Escobedo led off with a deep shot to center field for a standup double. The next batter grounded out to first as Escobedo advanced to third on the play, and two batters later Cooney walked Andrew Dundon to put runners on the corners with two outs.
The next batter, Nathan Gomez, dropped one into shallow left to bring Escobedo home for the Herd's first and only run of the game.
The Deacs recorded one more run in the seventh as Pat Blair sent a shot to left field for a one-out double. The Herd then brought in a new pitcher, Joe McGillicuddy, but two batters later Williamson ripped the ball to left field to drive in Blair and give the Deacs a comfortable 6-1 lead.
Nate Jones entered the game in relief for Wake Forest in the ninth inning, and he did not allow any runs after facing just three batters to preserve the win for the Deacs. Jones has yet to allow an earned run on the season in five appearances and 6.2 innings of work.
Wake Forest returns to action tomorrow as they play the first game of a doubleheader at noon against Eastern Michigan. The Deacs will then take on Marshall once again at 4 p.m. in the second game of the day.