Cooney Shuts Down Xavier in 6-1 Wake Forest Win
Freshman Tim Cooney improved to 2-0 on the season, allowing just one run on six hits in a career-high 7.2 innings pitched.

Freshman Tim Cooney improved to 2-0 on the season, allowing just one run on six hits in a career-high 7.2 innings pitched.

March 6, 2010

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Freshman left-handed pitcher Tim Cooney gave up only one run on six hits in a career-high 7.2 innings pitched as Wake Forest defeated Xavier 6-1 in the second game of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.

The Demon Deacons improve to 5-6 on the season while the Musketeers fall to 1-8.

Wake Forest took a 2-0 lead through the first three innings before Xavier pulled within one in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the frame, Mike Murray smashed a two-run homer to extend the Deacon lead to 4-1, and Wake picked up two insurance runs in the seventh to cruise to the victory.

Cooney (2-0) picked up the win for Wake Forest, continuing the solid start to his collegiate career. With today's outing, Cooney lowered his earned run average to 1.35 through his first three starts of the season. In 20 innings pitched, Cooney has struck out 17 batters and walked just one, while giving up six runs, only three of which have been earned.

Xavier starter Tommy Shirley (0-2), who allowed three earned runs on six hits in 4.2 innings, took the loss for the Musketeers.

Deacon reliever Zach White pitched a perfect ninth inning, and Ryan McGrath struck out the only batter he faced in the eighth.

For Wake, senior catcher Mike Murray went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a fifth-inning two-run homer, his first of the season, and junior center fielder Steven Brooks scored two runs and drove in two more on 3-for-4 hitting. Redshirt junior left fielder Ryan Semeniuk went 1-for-2 with two runs scored to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Redshirt freshman Mac Williamson also drove in a run for the Deacs.

Neil Lindgren led the Xavier hitters, going 2-for-3, and Patrick Paligraf drove in the Musketeers only run on a squeeze play in the fifth inning.

The Deacons scored in the first inning for the second consecutive game to take an early 1-0 lead. Pat Blair led off the inning with a single that dropped just in front of right fielder Mark Elwell and Semeniuk drew a walk in an eight-pitch at bat. Brooks singled down the right field line to drive in Blair but was thrown out trying to advance to second leaving Semeniuk on third with one out. However, Shirley caught both Murray and Williamson looking at called third strikes to escape the inning with no further damage.

Cooney had retired the first eight batters he faced before Elwell stroked a two-out single in the third, but Elwell was picked off trying to steal second to end the inning.

Wake Forest picked up a run in the bottom of the third to extend its lead to 2-0. Semeniuk drew a leadoff walk, and after Brooks struck out, Murray reached base on an error sending Semeniuk to second. Semeniuk stole third base and came home on a sacrifice fly from Williamson for the Deacons' second run of the day.

Xavier got on the board in the fifth, scoring once to cut the Wake lead to 2-1. Ben Thomas singled to lead off the inning and was bunted to second by Ryan Bellamy. Lindgren singled to put runners at the corners with one out. A squeeze play by Peligraf brought Thomas home for the Musketeers' first run and sent Lindgren to second base. Phil Bauer flied out to center to end the inning.

A two-run home run from Murray in the fifth inning pushed the Wake Forest advantage to 4-1. Brooks bunted for a base hit to reach first with one out and Murray followed with a shot over the right-field wall. After Williamson struck out, Carlos Lopez doubled to left driving Shirley from the game. Relief pitcher Josh Deeg forced pinch hitter Austin Stadler to fly out to right field ending the inning.

The Demon Deacons scored two runs in the seventh to make their lead 6-1. Semeniuk led off the inning with a single to extend his hitting streak to 11-games. Brooks followed with a double to right-center, driving in Semeniuk. Murray then singled to right-center, plating Brooks for his third RBI of the day.

Xavier put runners on second and third in the top of the eighth but came up empty. Lindgren started the inning with a single to left. Paligraf flied out to center field, but Phil Bauer picked up an infield single to put men on first and second. Elwell grounded out to first, advancing the runners. McGrath struck out McCambridge looking to get out of the jam.

The Deacons put a man in scoring position with no outs in the bottom of the eighth, but could not drive him in, leaving the score 6-1. Xavier third baseman Ryan Paligraf dropped an infield popup, allowing Stadler to reach second on the error. Lubanski flied out to right for the first out of the inning. Pinch hitter Ryan Lloyd struck out and Blair fouled out to first to allow the Musketeers to escape with no damage.

Wake will take on Xavier in the final game of the series March 7 at 1 p.m. Lefty Austin Stadler (1-0, 3.65 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Demon Deacons and lefthander Jon Richard (1-1, 9.90 ERA) is the announced starter for the Musketeers.

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