Demon Deacons Take Series from No. 4 Virginia, Walking Off With 7-6 Win
March 11, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Willy Fox singled home Brett Linnenkohl in the bottom of the ninth to send Wake Forest to a 7-6 win against Virginia Sunday afternoon at Hooks Stadium. The walk-off win, the Demon Deacons' fifth in their last at-bat this season, gave Wake Forest the series victory in its first weekend of ACC play.
The Deacons took two of three games from the No. 4-ranked Cavaliers this weekend, and Fox played a major role in both wins. After hitting a pair of home runs to lead Wake to an 8-3 win on Friday, Fox went 4-for-5 with the game-winning hit on Sunday.
With the scored knotted at 6-6 in the ninth, Eric Williams reached on a lead-off walk from Virginia closer Casey Lambert. After Linnenkohl's failed sacrifice bunt attempt erased Williams at second, Austin Jones followed with a single to left. One out later, Fox singled up the middle to score Linnenkohl ahead of the throw from center.
"They were playing the shortstop in the hole so I was able to bounce it through the middle," said Fox. "He (Lambert) fell behind 2-0, and then he threw a breaking ball. And then he threw another one 2-1. It was the same pitch I hit the double on. He just left it up. It was a pretty good pitch to hit."
It was the second time this week that Fox gave the Deacs a walk-off victory. He hit a two-run double on Tuesday to send Wake Forest to a 5-4 win over Gardner-Webb. In five games this past week, Fox hit .468 (11-for-23) with eight RBIs and four runs scored.
"The whole season I kind of felt like I was just missing the ball, not really on it," said Fox. "I put a lot of work in this week trying to stay on top of the ball. Finally I was able to put it together."
Fox's late-game heroics were necessary on Sunday after Wake Forest blew a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth. Brandon Guyer hit a one-out solo home run to left, just clearing the glove of a leaping Linnenkohl, off closer Ben Hunter.
The Deacons had taken the 6-5 lead with an Allan Dykstra three-run blast in the seventh inning. With two outs and Ben Terry and Eric Williams on base, Dykstra lined a 2-1 pitch from Lambert over the fence in right center.
The home run, Dykstra's second of the game, capped a four-run Demon Deacon rally. Wake entered the seventh trailing 5-2. Terry's pinch hit single scored Tyler Smith who had led off the frame with a double to the center field wall.
Williams followed Terry with a single to right. The two runners moved up a base on Linnenkohl's sacrifice bunt and then, one out later, scored on Dykstra's homer.
Dykstra had given the Deacons an early lead with a solo home run in the first inning. His shot cleared the line of trees behind the right field fence.
Virginia took the lead from Wake with two runs off starter Garrett Bullock in the third inning. The Cavaliers loaded the bases with no outs but were only able to bring two of the runners across.
Dykstra and Fox were the only Deacons with multiple hits. Dykstra finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Ocheltree extended his hitting streak to eight games, while Jones' single brought his streak to seven games.
Hunter (3-2) earned the win with one inning of relief. He gave up two hits and a walk and struck out one batter.
Bullock went five innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Bullock picked a runner off first base in each the first and second innings.
Josh Ellis continued his season scoreless innings streak with one frame of relief on Sunday. Ellis, who has not surrendered a run in 13 2/3 innings this season, struck out two Cavaliers in the eighth.
Lambert (0-1) took the loss for UVa. Lambert came on with two outs in the seventh. He was charged with two earned runs on four hits.
Beau Seabury went 4-for-5 with an RBI, Brandon Marsh was 3-for-4 with two runs and Guyer was 3-for-5 to lead Virginia at the plate.
The Demon Deacons improve to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the ACC with the win. Virginia falls to 16-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
"Going against a top team like Virginia, that's a good sign for us. We continued our never-say-die attitude. We hung in there," said head coach Rick Rembielak. "It was crucial to take game one against them and then to come back from yesterday when they pretty much silenced our bats. It was good for our guys to come back and hang in there again."
Wake Forest returns to action on Tuesday with the first game of a two-game series against Ball State. First pitch between the Demon Deacons and Cardinals is set for 3 p.m. at Hooks Stadium.
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