Fox's Two Home Runs Lead Deacons to 8-3 Win Over No. 4 Virginia

March 9, 2007

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Willy Fox hit two home runs and drove in five runs to lead Wake Forest to an 8-3 win over All-American Sean Doolittle and No. 4-ranked Virginia Friday afternoon at Hooks Stadium.

Fox hit a two-run blast off Doolittle in the fifth inning to give the Demon Deacons a 4-3 lead. Although the four runs would eventually hold up, the junior from Scottsdale, Ariz., put the game out of reach with a three-run homer off reliever Michael Schwimer two innings later.

Fox's first home run hit just below the scoreboard in left field. It was the first homer hit off Doolittle, the 2006 ACC Player of the Year, in five outings this season.

"My first two at-bats, I felt like my timing was on but I was just missing balls," said Fox. "I was able to get a pitch to hit and finally do something with it. He (Doolittle) likes to elevate, and if you lay off the balls up top, you'll get more pitches to hit. He likes his fastball, and he'll go right at you."

Fox hit his second home run just over the 370 mark in right center. The roundtripper gave the Deacs a 7-3 lead and provided some cushion late in the game.

"It was 0-2, and I had two pretty ugly swings to get to 0-2," said Fox. "He (Schwimer) tried to go up top on me, and I just tomahawked it. It felt good to finally drive the ball. It's been awhile since I got a hold of one."

Wake Forest got on the board first with a pair of runs off Doolittle in the first inning. Brett Linnenkohl led off the inning with a double to right, and Austin Jones followed with a run-scoring triple to the center field wall. Allan Dykstra drove in Jones when he reached on a throwing error by the shortstop.

Doolittle rebounded to shut down the Deacon bats through the next three innings, only allowing two singles during the stretch.

Virginia scored three unanswered runs, one in the second and two in the fourth, to take a 3-2 lead.

With two outs in the fifth and Doolittle cruising, Dykstra hit a single through the right side to bring Fox to the plate. Fox homered on a 2-1 pitch to give Wake the lead for good.

In the seventh, Linnenkohl led off with a triple to left field. After Schwimer came on in relief and struck out Jones, the righthander walked Dykstra on five pitches. Fox followed with his second home run of the game, hitting an 0-2 pitch to right center.

The Deacons added an insurance run in the eighth. Pinch hitter Evan Ocheltree singled to lead off and scored two batters later on a Keith Mauney sacrifice fly.

The extra runs proved unnecessary for the Wake Forest bullpen. Phil Negus and Josh Ellis combined to pitch four scoreless innings in relief of Brad Kledzik.

Ellis earned his first save of the season, going 2 2/3 and only allowing one hit. The Cavaliers loaded the bases off Ellis in the ninth, but the senior righthander got a fly out to center to end the game. Ellis has not allowed a single run in 12 2/3 innings of work this season.

Kledzik (2-1) earned his second straight win. Kledzik went five innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on nine hits. The sophomore struck out four and walked four.

Negus went 1 1/3 innings, giving up two hits.

Brett Linnenkohl and Dustin Hood each had three hits for the Wake Forest offense. Linnenkohl, who scored twice, fell a home run short of the cycle.

Fox's two home runs were his first of the season and snapped Wake's three-game homerless streak.

The win improves Wake Forest to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in ACC play. Virginia drops to 15-2 overall, 0-1 in league action.

The two squads meet for game two of the three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m. Wake's Eric Niesen (2-0, 3.1) matches up against Virginia's Jacob Thompson (4-0, 0.75).



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