Wake Forest Baseball Rallies Past Duke, 3-2
April 3, 2005
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - In only his second start since returning from a torn rotator cuff, Wake Forest senior Brian Bach tossed a complete game to lead the Demon Deacons to a 3-2 victory over Duke in ACC baseball action from Hooks Stadium Sunday afternoon. With the victory, Wake Forest completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Devils and improve to 14-16 overall and 7-8 in the ACC.
Senior J.B. Tucker came through in the clutch for the second consecutive game. The catcher, who had the gamewinning RBI double in the eighth inning of Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Blue Devils, did the same Sunday. Tucker belted the 1-0 offering from Duke starter Danny Otero into the left centerfield gap to give the Deacs a 3-2 lead.
Bach (1-1) went back out for the ninth inning, despite throwing a season-high 107 pitches to that point. Bach walked John Berger to open the ninth inning, but then nailed Blue Devil pinch runner Senterrio Landrum at second base on Ron Causey's sacrifice bunt attempt. The Demon Deacons nearly turned a double play, but Causey was able to beat the throw from second base.
J.J. Koterba followed with a single through the right side of the infield that put runners on first and second with just one out, but Bach -- as he did all afternoon -- battled back and got Bryan Smith to fly out before Javier Socorro grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game.
Bach scattered seven hits on the day and struckout a season-high seven. He allowed just one earned run. Bach tossed a Wake Forest team-high 118 pitches, 78 of which were for strikes. The complete game was not only Wake's first of the season, but it was Bach's third of his career and first since April 17, 2003 when he went the distance against Davidson. Bach missed most of 2004 after undergoing season-ending surgery on April 11.
Otero (3-7) was outstanding in a losing effort. The sophomore went 7.1 innings and allowed just three earned runs on seven hits. Otero struckout three and did not walk a single batter -- all after tossing 39 pitches and working 1.2 innings on Friday.
Bach baffled Duke for much of the afternoon. The right-handed hurler retired seven of the first eight Blue Devils, before Duke scratched a run across in the third inning.
After Jonathan Anderson reached on a infield single and Socorro doubled, Adam Murray plated Anderson on an RBI ground out to third base. Bach limited the damage to just a single run after Brett Bartles grounded out to end the inning.
The Blue Devils did score a second run in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Corey Whiting and Berger each singled. Bach then induced Causey into a ground out, which advanced both Whiting and Berger into scoring position. Bach got another ground ball off the bat of J.J. Koterba to third base, which should have ended the inning, but sophomore Matt Antonelli's throw was high as Koterba reached safely and the Blue Devils led 2-0.
From that point forward, Bach was in total control. Bach retired eight of the next nine and cruised into the eighth inning.
Wake Forest finally broke through on Otero in the seventh inning. The right-hander held the Deacs at bay until redshirt sophomore Brendan Enick led off the inning with a home run. The first basemen hammered a 0-1 pitch deep over the right field wall for his third homer of the season bringing the Demon Deacons within a run, 2-1.
Otero quickly settled down and retired the next three Deacs in order before tiring in the eighth inning. Freshman Brett Linnenkohl and Antonelli opened the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on at the corners with no outs. Otero then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Linnenkohl to scamper home to tie the game at 2-2.
Antonelli moved into scoring position which eventually set the stage for Tucker to shine for the second consecutive day.
Seven different Demon Deacons had hits. Junior Casey Sterk was one of those Deacs as he registered a single which extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine games.
Wake Forest returns to action Wednesday night at Davidson. First-pitch at Wildcat Park is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
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