Big Fourth Inning Dooms Wake Forest in 16-13 Loss to No. 24 Coastal Carolina
April 8, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - No. 24 Coastal Carolina broke open a close game with an 11-run fourth inning and held off a late Wake Forest rally to defeat the Demon Deacons 16-13 on Wednesday night at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
The Deacs drop to 18-13 on the season, while the Chanticleers improve to 26-7 on the year.
Wake Forest jumped out to an early lead but 15 unanswered runs by Coastal Carolina staked the Chanticleers to a 15-2 lead. The Demon Deacons trimmed the lead with two runs in the fourth, a run in the fifth and two runs in the seventh. After Coastal added a run in the top of the eighth to make the score 16-7, Wake Forest tallied six runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to three at 16-13. The Deacs were unable to cut the lead any further as Coastal held on for the win.
Wake Forest third baseman Carlos Lopez drove in a career-high six runs in the game and his night was capped off by a grand slam in the eighth inning, his 10th home run of the season. The 10 round-trippers for Lopez puts him in seventh place for home runs in a single season by a freshman.
David Anderson led Coastal Carolina with four RBIs and went 2-for-5 at the plate. Tommy Winegardner had three hits, drove in three runs and scored three runs.
Bobby Gagg earned his fourth win of the season for the Chanticleers, tossing seven innings and allowing seven runs, four of them earned. Michael Dimock suffered the loss to drop to 3-2 on the year. Dimock gave up nine runs, only four earned, on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. Nick McCully earned his eighth save of the season by throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
Gabe Feldman and Zach White pitched well for the Demon Deacons in relief. Feldman threw a career-high 3 2/3 innings and allowed a run on five hits, while striking out two. White threw a scoreless ninth inning out of the bullpen.
The loss snapped Wake Forest's six-game winning streak against non-conference foes. The Demon Deacons are now 13-3 against non-ACC opponents on the season.
The Demon Deacons struck first with two runs in the first. Brooks and Kroker started the inning with consecutive singles. Dustin Hood hit a ground ball to short, but the shortstop's throw to the second baseman was high, allowing Kroker to be safe and Hood to reach at first. Mike Murray hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Brooks for the first Wake Forest run. After Woodall struck out looking, the bases were loaded again when Smith reached on a fielding error by the Chanticleer first baseman. Kroker crossed the plate when Lopez drew a walk to stretch the Demon Deacon lead to 2-0.
The Chanticleers tied the game with two runs in the top of the second. Jose Iglesias led off the inning with a single to right field. A ground out to third by Daniel Bowman moved Iglesias to second with one out. Rich Witten grounded out to second for the second out of the inning. Winegardner singled to right field to score Iglesias and moved to second on the throw home to try to retire Iglesias. A double from Taylor Motter over the head of Brooks in center field scored Winegardner to tie the game at two.
Coastal grabbed the lead for the first time with two runs in the third. Adam Rice led off the inning with his fourth home run of the season, over the wall in right-center field to give the Chanticleers a 3-2 lead. Tyler Bortnick followed with a four-pitch walk. The next two batters were retired on a fly out to left and a swinging strikeout. Bortnick moved to second on a stolen base. A single down the right-field line by Bowman scored Bortnick to stretch the lead to 4-2.
Coastal broke the game open with 11 runs in the fourth inning, sending 16 men to the plate in the stanza. The first run of the inning scored when Bortnick drew a bases-loaded walk to score Motter. A bases-clearing double by Anderson drove in three runs and made the score 8-2. Bowman singled to right field to score Anderson. Winegardner drove in two more runs with a single down the left-field line. Motter doubled down the left-field line for the eighth run of the inning for Coastal. Rico Noel recorded two RBIs with a single to center field. Anderson's second hit of the inning, a single to center, scored the final run of the inning.
The Wake Forest offense came back to score two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Smith led off the inning with a double down the right-field line. After the next two batters were retired, Stadler singled to center field to score Smith for the third Demon Deacon run of the game. Brooks doubled off the wall in center field to score Stadler to trim the lead to 15-4.
The Deacs added another run in the fifth. Mike Murray doubled to center field with one out. Woodall singled to center field to score Murray to make the score 15-5.
Wake Forest tallied two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Bentley Heyman reached on a fielding error by the third baseman and moved to second on a throwing error by the third baseman. Heyman moved to third when Murray grounded out to the first baseman. Woodall hit an RBI single to center field to score Heyman. Smith hit a double to left field and Micah Jarrett, who pinch ran for Woodall, moved to third on the play. Lopez grounded out to shortstop to score Jarrett for the second run of the inning.
After Coastal scored a run in the top of the eighth, the Deacs got back in the game with six runs in the bottom of the eighth, with all the runs coming with two outs. Kroker started the rally with a single to left field. Heyman singled through the left side to advance Kroker to second. Ian Tomkins was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A walk to Jarrett scored Kroker. Smith singled to right-center field to plate Heyman for the ninth Demon Deacon run. Lopez cleared the bases with a grand slam over the left-field wall to cut Coastal's lead to 16-13.
The Demon Deacons were unable to mount a game-tying rally in the ninth. Kroker hit a two-out single but that was all the offense that Wake Forest could generate in the ninth.
Wake Forest returns to Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against Boston College. Game times are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.