No. 24 Deacs Beat App on Steel's Ninth-Inning Blast
March 28, 2017

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Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)

BOONE, N.C. -- Bruce Steel hit a game-winning home run in the top of the ninth inning as No. 24-ranked Wake Forest snuck past Appalachian State, 5-4, at Smith Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Demon Deacons (19-7) took advantage of strong pitching, solo homers from Steel, Jake Mueller and Keegan Maronpot, and a two-run double by Ben Breazeale in the victory.

The teams traded the lead several times throughout the game. Wake Forest took a first-inning lead on Mueller's blast, but the Mountaineers (10-15) responded with a pair in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 advantage.

Maronpot hit his sixth blast of the season the next half-inning to knot the game at 2-2.

App State retook a 3-2 lead on a Conner Leonard homer in the fifth, but Breazeale hit a two-out, two-run double to bring home Stuart Fairchild and Gavin Sheets and put the Deacs ahead, 4-3.

The Mountaineers once again tied the game in the sixth on a safety squeeze by Drake Zupcic, setting the stage for Steel's ninth-inning heroics.

Drew Loepprich (1-2) earned the victory with 2.0 shutout innings in relief, while John McCarren tossed a scoreless ninth inning to earn his second save. Colin Peluse started and allowed three runs over 5.0 innings on four hits and no walks, striking out four.

Mueller, Sheets and Maronpot led Wake Forest with two hits apiece.

Wake Forest is back in action this weekend, traveling to Miami for a three-game ACC series.