Demon Deacons Get Series Sweep with 7-5 Defeat of Maryland
April 8, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Buoyed by the much-anticipated return of starter Charlie Mellies, Wake Forest completed the series sweep of Maryland with a 7-5 defeat of the Terrapins Sunday afternoon at Shipley Field.
The win pushes the Demon Deacons' record to 18-16 overall and 7-8 in the ACC. Maryland, who has now dropped seven straight conference contests, falls to 19-15 overall and 5-10 in league play.
Wake scored seven runs over the first three innings to give Mellies a sizable cushion. The fourth-year junior looked good in his return, earning the win with a scheduled two innings of work. Mellies (1-0) allowed just one hit and walked two. He threw 31 pitches on the day.
In the first inning, Mellies quickly retired the first two batters he faced before running into command problems. The next two batters walked, and Mellies went 3-0 on the fifth hitter of the inning, Chad Durakis. However, Mellies recovered to get Durakis to line out to end the inning.
Mellies breezed through the second inning despite allowing his first hit of the day. Dan Benick hit a one-out single to center but was erased on Mike Moss's 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
Mellies underwent Tommy John surgery on April 14, 2006, and had not pitched in a game since March 18 of last season. At the time of his injury, he was 4-1 with a 3.50 in six starts for the Deacs.
Ben Hunter came on to start the third inning and picked up right where Mellies left off. Hunter allowed just two runners to reach base in his four innings of work. He did not allow a hit, while striking out two and walking one.
Wake Forest jumped on Maryland early with three runs in the first inning. The first four batters for Wake reached base. Terrapin starter Kevin Biringer hit Ben Terry to lead off the game. Dustin Hood followed with a single to center, and Terry moved to third on Dan Benick's fielding error on the play.
Allan Dykstra brought Terry home with another single to center. Michael Murray made it three straight singles dumped into centerfield, loading the bases on Biringer. One out later, Evan Ocheltree drove in Hood with a sacrifice fly. Dan Rosaia then got the big hit in the inning, a two-out double down the leftfield line to score Dykstra.
The Deacs added another run off Biringer in the second. Eric Williams led off with a walk and then, one out later, moved to third on Hood's infield single and ensuing throwing error on the Maryland third baseman. Dykstra drove in Williams with a fielder's choice grounder up the middle. Dykstra's groundball would normally have been a single up the middle, but shortstop Dan Melvin was positioned directly behind the second base bag.
Wake scored three more runs in the third to push its lead to 7-0. Tyler Smith and Ocheltree led off with back-to-back singles and then moved up on Rosaia's sacrifice bunt. Any Goff came through with a single up the middle, past a drawn-in infield, to score Smith and Ocheltree and chase Biringer. Terry capped the rally with a two-out, run-scoring single off reliever Ian Schwalenberg.
Schwalenberg shut down the Deacs over the next three innings despite Wake putting the leadoff man in the fourth and the fifth.
Maryland cut the deficit to five with two runs off Deacon reliever Sean Souders in the seventh. Souders did not retire a batter on the day, allowing the first five hitters of the inning to reach base. A hit-batter, a walk and a single off the wall loaded the bases for Mike Moss. Moss responded by drilling a double off the wall in right center to score two runs.
Souders stayed on for one more batter but walked Steve Braun to load the bases once again. Phil Negus then came on and quickly got Joe Palumbo to hit into a 1-2-3 double play. Negus got a groundout to third to end the rally and hold the Wake lead at 7-2.
The Terps threatened again the in the eighth, loading the bases on Negus and Eric Niesen. However, Niesen battled back to record back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning with no runs across.
Maryland got to Niesen in the ninth. Braun led off with a single, and one out later Wink Nolan singled to put two runners on for Mike Murphy. Murphy followed with his team-leading fifth home run of the season to pull the Terps to within 7-5.
All-American closer Brett Cecil shut the door on the Deacs over the final three frames. Cecil allowed just two baserunners, a leadoff single by Goff in the eighth and a leadoff walk to Hood in the ninth. Both of those runners were erased on double plays.
Hood, Rosaia and Goff had two hits apiece for the Demon Deacons. Goff and Dykstra each drove in two runs on the day. Of Wake's 11 hits, Rosaia had the only extra-base hit with his first-inning double.
Negus went one inning, not allowing a run or a hit.
Niesen pitched the final two innings, giving up three runs on four hits with four strikeouts. It was the first time in five relief appearances that Niesen allowed a run.
Biringer (2-6) took the loss for the Terrapins. The righthander lasted just 2 1/3 innings, surrendering seven runs, six earned, on eight hits. Biringer walked one and hit one batter.
The weekend series sweep was the Deacons' first since the season-opening weekend against Kent State. The last ACC opponent Wake Forest swept was Duke on April 14-16, 2006, in Durham.
Gametime temperatures were in the low 40s with the wind chill dropping into the mid-30s.
Wake Forest is back in action with a pair of mid-week games. The Deacons will host Triad-rival UNC Greensboro on Tuesday at 3 p.m. before heading south to Conway, S.C., to face Coastal Carolina at 6 p.m.