Demon Deacons Roll Over Wolfpack, 16-3
March 24, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest bats came alive with an eight-run fifth inning to propel the Demon Deacons to a 16-3 defeat of NC State that evened the weekend series with the Wolfpack Saturday afternoon at Hooks Stadium.
The Deacons pounded out a season-high 19 hits to score their highest run total of the season. Every Wake Forest hitter had a hit, and all but two posted multiple hits on the day.
Allan Dykstra led the Deacs, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a career-high six RBIs. Dustin Hood and Evan Ocheltree also had three hits on the day. Ocheltree finished 3-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs.
"I think after yesterday we all had a chip on our shoulder. We left runners on, and we kind of had a little talk about it," said Dykstra. "Today we just came out, and (Andrew) Brackman's one of the better pitchers in the nation according to a whole bunch of people. We just had something to prove. It was a whole team effort."
While the Wake offense stole the show, the pitching staff shined on Saturday as well. Starter Garrett Bullock settled down after a rocky start to turn in a solid outing. The sophomore lefty went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits. Bullock (2-1) walked four and struck out two.
"The hitters came out today and got us a lot of runs. It made my job a lot easier, throwing strikes and trying to get ahead of hitters," said Bullock. "I was a little too pumped up the first inning or so, just playing a big rival in NC State. Then I settled down and everything came together."
Relievers Joel Ernst, Sean Souders and Alex Wiesner combined to pitch the final 3 1/3 innings. Ernst was the only one of the trio to allow a run. Neither Souders nor Wiesner gave up a hit in their respective inning of work.
Much like on Friday, Saturday's game looked early-on as if it would be a tight one. NC State pushed a run across in the first inning, taking advantage of a lead-off walk and a passed ball.
Wake Forest tied it with an unearned run off Wolfpack starter Andrew Brackman in the second inning. Hood reached on a hit-by-pitch and then moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Two batters later, Ocheltree drove Hood in with a single up the middle.
The Wolfpack quickly got the run back in the top of the third, as Ryan Pond led off with a solo home run to left field.
The Deacons erased the 2-1 deficit with an offensive explosion in the fifth. The first seven hitters of the frame all had hits, and 13 total batters came to the plate in the inning.
Wake's first four batters hit for the cycle in the inning. Dykstra led off with his 10th home run of the season to right field. Fox and Hood followed with a triple and double, respectively, before Williams registered a single.
Ocheltree then blasted a three-run home run to right field, his fifth of the season, chasing Brackman from the game. The 6-10, flame-throwing righthander ended the day allowing six runs on nine hits in four-plus innings of work.
The Deacs were not done in the fifth even after Brackman left. Dan Rosaia and Goff hit back-to-back singles, and Terry brought them home with a double to right field. Three batters later, Hood capped the rally with a run-scoring single to plate Terry.
As if to add insult to injury, Wake Forest batted around again the next inning. The Demon Deacons sent 10 batters to the plate to score five runs in the sixth. Linnenkohl and Fox each had RBI singles, while Dykstra hit a three-run double.
The Deacs almost made in three straight innings batting around, as eight hitters came to the plate in the seventh. Wake plated two runs in the frame courtesy of a two-run double off the bat of Dykstra.
The offensive explosion gave Wake Forest another victory against a big-name pitcher in the ACC. The Deacons beat Virginia's Sean Doolittle on March 9, and the win over Brackman was just as impressive.
"I think our intensity gets up when we face big guys like that...that have all the reputation," said Dykstra. "We just have to bring it out everyday, and I think we'll have a much better chance of winning every game. Yesterday we came out a little lackadaisical, and we didn't get the job done. Today we came out with something to prove."
The Demon Deacons improve to 14-11 overall and 3-5 in the ACC, while the Wolfpack drops to 17-8 overall and 4-4 in conference play.
A crowd of 2,139 fans were on hand Saturday, marking the fifth-largest crowd in Hooks Stadium history. The attendance figure was the largest since 2003.
Wake Forest and NC State will play the rubber match of the three-game set on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Demon Deacons will send LHP Eric Niesen (2-2, 5.12) to the mound, while the Wolfpack will counter with LHP Jimmy Gilheeney (1-1, 1.90).