Wake Forest Drops Xavier in Series Opener, 4-2
March 5, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Back-to-back sixth-inning RBI doubles by Austin Stadler and Carlos Lopez propelled Wake Forest to a 4-2 win over Xavier on Friday afternoon at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
Wake Forest improves to 4-6 on the year, while Xavier drops to 1-7 with the loss.
The Deacons took a 1-0 first inning lead, but Xavier rallied back to go ahead 2-1 in the second inning. Wake Forest tied the game in the third inning, and scored two runs in the sixth to give the Deacs a lead they would never relinquish.
Wake Forest got a strong performance from its pitching staff. Starter Michael Dimock (1-1) pitched six innings, giving up four hits and two unearned runs and earning the win. Matt Conway threw three scoreless innings in relief without giving up a hit or a walk to earn his first save of the season. Dimock and Conway combined to retire Xavier's last 14 hitters.
Xavier pitcher Nate Mutsch (0-2) went 5.1 innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and taking the loss.
In addition to Stadler and Lopez, Mac Williamson and Steven Brooks each had one RBI for Wake Forest. Brooks went a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate. Stadler, Lopez and Mike Murray each had two hits. Ryan Semeniuk extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 1-for-4 at the plate with a run scored.
Phil Bauer led Xavier, going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
In the first, Pat Blair drew a leadoff walk and immediately followed it up by stealing second. A groundout by Semeniuk advanced Blair to third base, and a sacrifice fly to center by Steven Brooks drove him home to give the Deacons an early 1-0 lead. Mike Murray singled, Williamson walked and Stadler reached first on an infield single to load the bases with two outs as the Deacs threatened to score more, but Mutsch struck out Lopez to get Musketeers out of the jam.
Xavier answered right back in the top of the second, scoring two unearned runs to take a 2-1 lead. Ryan Bellamy led off the inning with a walk and scored on an error when a single from Neil Lindgren was mishandled by Semeniuk. Lindgren advanced to third on a groundout and scored on an error by Blair.
The Demon Deacons picked up one run in the bottom of the third to tie the game 2-2. Semeniuk started the inning with a single to center and he was bunted to second by Brooks. Williamson drove in Semeniuk on a two-out single to center to tie the game once again. Williamson stole second to get into scoring position, but Stadler lined to center to end the inning.
Wake Forest scored two in the bottom of the sixth inning to retake the lead at 4-2. Williamson reached first on a one-out fielder's choice. The next batter, Stadler, smashed a ball off the top of the wall in right-center field, driving in Williamson for an RBI double. Lopez followed with a double to almost the exact same spot, plating Stadler. Xavier brought in pitcher Seth Willoughby who forced a groundout from Shane Kroker, but walked pinch hitter Trenton Langston leaving runners at the corners with two outs. Blair sent a high chopper to third, but first baseman Ben Thomas dug the throw to first out of the dirt just ahead of the runner to get the Musketeers out of the inning.
The Deacons loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning, but the Musketeers turned a double play to escape without giving up a run. Brooks lined a one-out single up the middle and advanced to second when Willoughby's pickoff throw sailed wide of the first baseman. Murray walked and a double-steal put runners on second and third. Relief pitcher Shane Liska walked Williamson to load the bases, but Stadler grounded to the first baseman for a 3-2-3 double play to end the inning.
Xavier was held hitless over the last five innings and were set down in order in the final four innings as Wake held on for the 4-2 win.
Wake Forest will take on Xavier in the second game of the series on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Wake Forest Baseball Park. Freshman Tim Cooney (1-0, 1.46) is scheduled to start for Wake Forest and Tommy Shirley (0-1, 11.32) is the announced starter for Xavier.
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