Wake Forest Falls to NC State, 5-3
March 20, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - NC State used a four-run fifth inning to take its first lead of the game and held off Wake Forest to claim a 5-3 win on Saturday night at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
Wake Forest drops its eighth straight game and falls to 6-14 overall and 0-5 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while NC State improves to 14-5 and 2-3 in league play.
With the win, NC State clinches the series. The Wolfpack go for the series sweep on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. (ET). Sophomore LHP Austin Stadler (1-0, 5.96) will start for the Demon Deacons, while redshirt senior LHP Alex Sogard (0-0, 6.35) is slated to start for the Wolfpack.
NC State grabbed its first lead of the game, a 5-2 advantage, with four runs in the top of the fifth. Kyle Wilson led off the inning with a single, and Dallas Poulk followed with a double, his ninth of the season, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Andrew Ciencin was retired on a ground ball to Carlos Lopez, who made a diving stop, but Kyle Wilson scored on the groundout. Drew Poulk followed with a two-run home run to deep left field, his fifth of the season. After recording the second out of the inning, the Wolfpack struck again when Chris Schaeffer scored on Russell Wilson's double. In all, NC State scored four runs on five hits in the inning.
Wake Forest chipped away at the Wolfpack lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pat Blair led off the inning with a solo home run down the left field line, his third of the season and second of the series. Ryan Lloyd and Steven Brooks then drew consecutive walks. Each runner advanced a base on a fly out to center field by Mike Murray. The Deacs were unable to score either runner as Lopez struck out swinging and Austin Stadler flied out to center field to end the inning.
After two scoreless innings, the Deacons threatened to score in the ninth inning. Lopez led off the inning with a walk. Stadler then sent a deep fly ball to left field, but John Gianis was able to haul it in at the base of the wall for the first out of the inning. After Ryan Semeniuk struck out looking for the second out of the inning, Mac Williamson singled to center to put runners on first and third. Pinch hitter Matt Conway grounded out to the pitcher to end the game and give NC State the win.
Wolfpack starter Cory Mazzoni (3-1) had a solid outing and earned the win, going seven innings, giving up three earned runs, and striking out seven. Demon Deacon starter Tim Cooney (2-1) suffered the loss, going six innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on nine hits and striking out four. Felix Roque picked up his first save of the season, throwing two scoreless innings.
Brooks led the Deacons at the plate, going 2-3 with a solo home run, an RBI, and two runs scored. Blair also had a strong evening, going 2-4 at the plate with a solo home run, an RBI and a run scored.
Chris Schaeffer led NC State at the plate, going 2-4 with a solo home run and one RBI. Drew Poulk added his fifth homer of the season and had two RBIs. Russell Wilson also had a solid outing, going 3-3 at the plate with two stolen bases.
Wake Forest made a couple of great defensive plays in the game. In the top of the second, Stadler made an outstanding diving catch in foul territory. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, second baseman Shane Kroker made a diving stop on a ball ticketed for center field and flipped to second to end the inning and keep NC State off the scoreboard.
The Demon Deacons jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Brooks crushed Mazzoni's 0-1 offering just inside the foul pole down the left field line. The home run was Brooks' third of the season.
The Wolfpack answered quickly in the top of the second inning when Schaeffer hit a solo home run to right field, his fourth of the season, to tie the game at one.
Cooney ran into some trouble in the top of the fourth inning, but a stellar defensive play by Kroker saved the inning for the Demon Deacons. With one out already recorded, Wolfpack first baseman Danny Canela singled, and Russell Wilson followed with a two-out single, advancing Canela to second base. After left fielder Tarran Senay walked to load the bases with two outs, shortstop Chris Diaz sent a hard hit ball up the middle between the Deacon shortstop and second baseman. Diving to his left, Kroker fielded the ball cleanly and flipped to Blair for the force out at second to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.
The Deacons regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a run. Brooks singled up the middle with one out. Mike Murray lined a ball up the middle that hit off Mazzoni's right hip and caromed into foul territory by the NC State dugout. Murray reached first on the play and Brooks advanced all the way to third. Mazzoni would stay in the game after being hit by the line drive. Lopez then sent a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Brooks to put Wake in front 2-1.
For all of the latest information on Wake Forest baseball, please log on to www.WakeForestSports.com or, for up-to-the minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account @WFUBaseball or www.twitter.com/WFUBaseball.