No. 19 NC State Takes Series Finale, 5-4, from No. 25 Wake Forest
March 18, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - No. 24 Wake Forest erased a 4-1 deficit and tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the seventh inning, but No. 19 NC State answered with one of its own in the bottom of the inning to capture a 5-4 victory over the Demon Deacons on Sunday afternoon at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The Wolfpack swept the series from the Deacs to improve to 15-3 on the year and 5-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Wake Forest is now 16-7 overall and 3-3 in the ACC.
The game featured 20 combined walks by the pitching staffs, while the Wake Forest batters were able to draw 11 of those walks. Pat Blair reached via the walk three times, while Conor Keniry and Charlie Morgan each walked twice.
Blair had a solid all-around day at the plate, as he also went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBIs and his second home run of the season. Keniry was the only Deacon to record multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Michael Dimock was solid out of the bullpen in three innings of action, as he struck out three batters and allowed just one hit. He did, however, suffer the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year after the Wolfpack's manufactured run in the bottom of the seventh was his responsibility. NC State's Anthony Tzamtzis picked up the win in three innings of relief to improve to 2-1.
Dimock replaced Brian Holmes who went five innings for the Demon Deacons while striking out six and surrendering three earned runs.
NC State starter Logan Jernigan was forced to leave in the third inning after giving up seven walks, but the Demon Deacons were unable to take full advantage of the control problems by only scoring one run during that time. Blair drew a bases-loaded walk in the second that plated Morgan who walked to lead off the inning, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Wolfpack.
NC State tacked on one more in the third and another in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead before the Deacs could score again in the top of the fifth inning.
Wake Forest loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth. Blair walked for the third time of the game, Keniry followed with an infield single and Mac Williamson reached on an error. Blair was able to score on a ground ball by Carlos Lopez, but the Wolfpack turned one of their four double plays of the game to help slow the momentum.
Blair then homered over the left field wall to lead off the top of the seventh and cut the deficit to 4-3. Keniry followed with a sharply hit double down the left field line and moved to third when Lopez reached on dropped fly ball by the NC State center fielder. Morgan then brought him home to tie the game at 4-4 with a ground ball to second base.
After NC State scored in the bottom of the seventh to retake the lead, Wake Forest had another opportunity fall short in the top of the eighth when the Deacs stranded a pair of runners on board. Tzamtzis then retired the Demon Deacons in order in the top of the ninth to preserve the win for the Wolfpack.
Wake Forest will be in action again on Tuesday, returning home to host Winthrop at 6 p.m. at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.