Deacs Drop 12-7 Decision at UNC Wilmington
March 4, 2009
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Wake Forest jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but UNC Wilmington scored 10 unanswered runs to pick up a 12-7 win on Wednesday night at Brooks Field.
Wake Forest suffers its first loss of the season, dropping to 6-1 on the season, while UNC Wilmington improves to 8-0 on the year.
Carlos Lopez and Weldon Woodall were the offensive stars of the night for the Deacs. Lopez hit a pair of home runs, becoming the first Wake Forest player to hit two home runs in a game since Tyler Smith accomplished the feat at Virginia on April 19, 2008. Weldon Woodall went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Austin Stadler and Lopez tied for the team high in RBIs with three each.
Steven Davis picked up the win for UNCW, allowing a run on one hit in 2 2/3 innings pitched. Brad Kledzik suffered the loss for the Deacs, allowing five runs on no hits and four walks in 2/3 of an inning.
After Wake Forest was retired in order in the top of the first, UNC Wilmington jumped out quickly with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Stott led off the inning with a softly hit single through the right side of the infield. Cody Stanley followed with a home run, his third of the season, over the right-center field fence to give the Seahawks a 2-0 lead. The Seahawks threatened to score more in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with two outs. However, starter Daniel Marrs forced Cameron Cockman to ground out to third to end the inning.
Wake Forest wasted no time in responding, scoring five runs of its own in the top of the second. Evan Ocheltree led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a single to right field by Weldon Woodall. Austin Stadler cleared the bases, hitting his first home run of his college career, a three-run blast over the barrier in right field to give the Deacs a 3-2 lead. Carlos Lopez followed with a home run of his own, his third of the season, to stretch the lead to 4-2. Lopez and Stadler became the first Wake players to hit back-to-back home runs since March 3, 2006, when Woodall and Brett Linnenkohl hit back-to-back jacks against Elon.
After Steven Brooks struck out for the first out of the inning, Ryan Semeniuk doubled to the left-center field alley. Dustin Hood was hit by a pitch and Semeniuk and Hood each moved up on a double steal to set up runners at second and third with one out. Semeniuk scored on a groundout to short by Shane Kroker to make the score 5-2.
The Deacs had a scary moment in the bottom of the second inning. With one out and a runner on first, Stott hit a line drive shot back to the mound that hit off the forehead of Marrs and rolled all the way over to the UNCW dugout. Stott attempted to take second on the play, but he was thrown out by Stadler. After the play, Marrs walked off the field under his own power and was replaced by Joel Ernst.
Later in the bottom of the second, with one out and a runner on third, Stanley hit a ground ball to third. Lopez threw home to retire Thielsen for the second out of the inning. With two outs and the count 1-0, Ernst threw a wild pitch to Grayson Evans. However, Stanley rounded the second base bag too far and was caught in a run down. Lopez tagged out Stanley to end the inning.
Wake Forest stretched its lead to five with two runs in the top of the third. With one out, Woodall doubled to left-center field. UNCW went to the bullpen and brought in Steven Davis to replace Justin Bradley. Davis struck out Stadler for the second out of the inning. However, Lopez followed with his second home run of the game, a towering shot over the wall in left-center field to give the Deacs a 7-2 edge.
UNCW trimmed the lead to four with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Rhett Miller led off the inning with a triple down the left field line. After Mike Rooney lined out to left field and Cameron Cockman struck out swinging, Thielsen hit a bloop single to center to score Miller and make the score 7-3. Stott hit a softly hit single to left center to send Thielsen to third with two outs. Ernst got Stanley to strike out swinging and end the Seahawk rally.
The Seahawks scored six runs on only two hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 9-7 lead. Evans and Monday opened the inning with back-to-back walks. After Leeper popped out to second, Miller was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Rooney walked to bring in Evans and cut the lead to 7-4. A sacrifice fly to center field from pinch hitter Alex Hill trimmed the lead to 7-5. After a walk to Thielsen loaded the bases again, Stott hit a soft liner between the mound and first that brought McGrath off the mound. McGrath bobbled the ball when he attempted to field it and Rooney and Miller scored to tie the game at seven. Stott moved to second on a wild pitch from McGrath. A single to center by Stanley scored Thielsen and Stott to give the Seahawks a 9-7 lead.
UNCW added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Leeper singled to center. Miller doubled to left center to score Leeper. Miller attempted to stretch his double to a triple, but was thrown out by Hood for the second out of the inning.
The Deacs struggled to get anything going offensively in the middle innings. After scoring seven runs in the second and third innings, the UNCW bullpen retired 10 straight Wake Forest batters to slow down the Deacon offense.
Wake threatened to score in the top of the seventh. Semeniuk was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Hood grounded out to second for the second out of the inning. With two outs, Kroker singled to center and Murray drew a four-pitch walk to advance Kroker to second. Ocheltree flied out to left to end the rally and keep the UNCW lead at 10-7.
The Demon Deacons had another scoring opportunity in the top of the eighth, bringing the tying run to the plate. Woodall led off the inning with his third hit and second double of the game. After Stadler and Lopez flied out, Tyler Smith came on to pinch hit and drew a base on balls to bring Semeniuk, the tying run, to the plate. Semeniuk struck out looking to end the inning.
UNCW added two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning without a hit. Andrew Cain pinch hit to lead off the inning and walked. Leeper laid down a bunt back to the mound and Zach White's throw to second was dropped by Kroker. Cain moved to third on the dropped throw and Leeper reached at first. Marc Locklear laid down a safety squeeze bunt down the first base line to score Cain and make the score 11-7. Rooney walked and Holt struck out to put runners at first and second with two out. Thielsen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Leeper scored on a passed ball for UNCW's 12th run of the game.
Wake Forest went down in order in the top of the ninth to end the game.
Wake Forest is back in action this weekend as it opens Atlantic Coast Conference play against Virginia. Game times are set for 6 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.