Ball State Edges Wake Forest 7-6 Despite Dykstra's Two Home Runs
March 13, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Despite a pair of two-run home runs from Allan Dykstra, Wake Forest was edged, 7-6, by non-conference opponent Ball State Tuesday afternoon at Hooks Stadium.
Dykstra hit identical homers, his sixth and seventh of the season, in the first and seventh innings. It was his second straight game with two home runs after hitting a pair in the Demon Deacons' win against Virginia on Sunday.
Willy Fox, who was recently named the ACC Player of the Week, also homered, but in the end the Deacons' three home runs were not enough.
Ball State rallied for the game-winning run off Ben Hunter in the top of the ninth. The Cardinals opened the frame with a pair of singles. One out later, Hunter threw a wild pitch to advance the lead runner to third. Kory Benbow responded with a deep fly out to center to score the go-ahead run.
Wake, who has had five walk-off wins already this season, threatened in the ninth but hit into a game-ending 4-3 double play.
Dykstra had given the Deacons an early 2-0 lead with his home run in the first. After Eric Williams hit a one-out single, the sophomore slugger launched a 3-2 pitch from BSU starter Richie Fralick over the trees in right field.
The Cardinals' Jeremy Hazelbaker tied it with a two-run home run of his own to right center off Wake Forest starter Alex Wiesner in third.
Ball State took a 4-2 lead with two more runs off Wiesner the following inning.
Fox cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth, hitting his third home run of the season to right field.
BSU extended its lead with two runs in the seventh off reliever Matt Hammond. Hammond started the inning in relief of Wiesner and promptly walked the first two hitters on 10 pitches. The runners came around to score on a two-run single off Kirby Wedekind.
Williams and Dykstra hooked up again in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the Cardinals' lead to 6-5. Williams led off with an infield single, and Dykstra followed with his second homer to the same spot in right field.
The Demon Deacons tied it up with an unearned run in the eighth. Pinch hitter Brett Linnenkohl was issued a lead-off walk. Pinch runner Keith Mauney scored three batters later on a botched double-play attempt off the bat of Dykstra.
Hunter (3-3) took the loss with 1 2/3 innings of relief. The junior surrendered one run on two hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Wiesner had his longest outing of the season, going six innings. The lefty allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits. He had two walks and struck out one.
Williams, Dykstra and Fox each had two hits to lead Wake at the plate. Ocheltree extended his hitting streak to a team-best nine games with a single in the seventh.
For Ball State, Matt Stoeklen went 3-for-5 with a run, and Justin Rogers was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Cardinals closer Kyle Heyne (1-0) picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Wake Forest will look to salvage a series split with Ball State on Wednesday at 3 p.m. RHP Joel Ernst (0-0, 3.57) will take the hill for the Deacs, while Brad Piatt (0-0, 0.00) will go for the Cardinals.