Hot Start Not Enough in Deacs 6-2 Loss to Heels
March 10, 2013
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest took an early 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Jack Carey in the bottom of the first, but No. 1 North Carolina battled back and scored six unanswered runs to defeat the Demon Deacons 6-2 on Sunday afternoon at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
The Tar Heels earn the series sweep and remain unbeaten at 14-0 on the year and 3-0 in ACC play. The Demon Deacons are now 9-8 overall and begin the conference season 0-3.
The Demon Deacons recorded more hits than the Tar Heels for second time in the series with nine. Of Wake Forest's nine hits, eight of them came with two outs in an inning, and the first hit with less than two outs did not come until the eighth. Matt Conway, Mark Rhine and Joey Rodriguez each had two hits on the day for Wake Forest, while Carey, Pat Blair and Brett Armour each had one hit.
Justin Van Grouw (1-3) went 4.1 innings in the start and gave up two earned runs while striking out four in the loss. North Carolina's Chris McCue earned the win with 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to improve to 3-0 on the year. Trevor Kelley earned his first save of the season.
Wake Forest took its first lead of the series in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out rally. Blair began the rally by drawing a walk and moved up to second base when Conway recorded a single through the right side. Blair and Conway each moved up a bag on a double steal and would come home when Carey laced a single into the left center field and gave the Deacs a 2-0 advantage.
North Carolina chipped away at the lead and scored one in the second to cut it in half and tied the game with one in the fourth. The go-ahead run came in the fifth inning - which was of the unearned variety - and gave the Tar Heels the lead for good.
Niko Spezial entered in the fifth after the run had scored and retired both batters he faced to get out of the jam. He then pitched a scoreless sixth as well to keep the Demon Deacons in the game.
The Tar Heels were not finished, however, and scored two runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Wake Forest will be in action twice during the midweek, as the Deacs host Rhode Island on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and play a neutral-site game in Shelby, N.C. against Gardner-Webb on Wednesday at 6 p.m.