Stephens Paces Wake Forest as Deacs Down VMI 9-3
March 5, 2014
By Nick Sebesta, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Evan Stephens went 4-for-4 with three RBIs as Wake Forest downed VMI 9-3 on Wednesday night at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
Wake Forest (9-4, 0-0 ACC) clicked offensively behind Stephens and Matt Conway who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs including his second home run of the season. Will Craig also went 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Jimmy Redovian and Charlie Morgan each recorded an RBI.
Connor Johnstone started the first game of his career and turned in a gem on the mound for the Demon Deacons. The freshman went five innings and only gave up a single in the first inning. He also had four strikeouts, no walks and no earned runs in 15 batters faced for a total of 58 pitches. Johnstone earned the win for the game.
With one out in the top of the first, Will Malbon of VMI singled to center but was thrown out by catcher Garrett Kelly trying to steal second. Johnstone then retired the next 13 VMI batters.
Wake Forest put up its first run in the bottom of the first inning as Stephens doubled down the left field line in the first at-bat of the game. After advancing to third on a groundout, Stephens scored off an RBI-groundout from Morgan.
The Demon Deacons tacked on three runs in the bottom of the third inning as Craig had a two-RBI double to score Stephens and Grant Shambley. With one out in the frame, Craig worked a 12-pitch at-bat and then roped a double down the left field line scoring the two runners. Redovian followed it up with a hard single past the shortstop to score Craig from second.
Conway made it a 6-0 game in the bottom of the fifth inning as he belted a two-run home run to left field. It was the second homer of the year for Conway who had one against Saint Peter's.
Wake Forest extended its lead to 7-0 in the sixth as Stephens singled through the left side to score Keniry.
Stephens added two more runs in the eighth inning as he singled to left field putting Wake Forest up for good by a score of 9-3.
Parker Dunshee, Max Tishman, McCarren and Aaron Fossas each pitched a scoreless inning in the game. Campbell Henkel took the loss on the mound for VMI (7-4). Malbon, Eric Mayers and Cameron Walter each had an RBI for the Keydets.
Wake Forest travels to Atlanta this weekend to face Georgia Tech for a three-game series to open ACC play. The first game is on Friday at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.