Wake Forest Holds On for 10-8 Defeat of Winthrop

April 16, 2008

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest got home runs from Allan Dykstra, Willy Fox and Weldon Woodall to earn a 10-8 defeat of Winthrop Wednesday afternoon at Hooks Stadium.

With the win, the Demon Deacons move to 14-22 on the season. The Eagles drop to 15-21 overall.

Wake Forest took leads of 4-0, 6-4, and 7-6 over the first six innings, only to see Winthrop battle back to tie the score on each of the three occasions. However, the fourth time the Deacons took the lead, it stuck. Wake plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh, added an insurance run in the eighth and then held the Eagles to just one run over the final two innings.

The Deacons pounded out 13 hits at the plate, with two apiece coming from Dykstra, Fox, Dustin Hood, Evan Ocheltree and Tyler Smith. Fox, Smith and Woodall drove in two runs each, while Dykstra, Ocheltree and Smith each scored twice. Mike Murray and Woodall each extended their respective hitting streaks to nine games.

Wake Forest got home runs from Dykstra, Fox and Woodall. Dykstra had a solo shot in the second, Woodall hit a two-run homer in the fifth and Fox followed with a solo homer in the eighth.

Dykstra also broke the Wake Forest career hit by pitch record with a plunking in the sixth inning. Dykstra has now been hit by 43 pitches in his career, breaking Ryder Mathias' record set from 2001-05.

On the mound, the game saw Winthrop and Wake Forest use a combined 12 pitchers, with each squad trotting out six hurlers apiece.

Reliever Alex Wiesner (3-0) picked up the win for the Deacons. The lefty pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit with a strikeout and a walk. Wiesner came on in the seventh with the score tied 7-7 and the Eagles threatening with two on and one out. He worked the Deacs out of the jam and then pitched a scoreless eighth.

Phil Negus earned his first career save, holding the Eagles to one run on two hits in the ninth inning.

Wake starter Ryan McGrath received a no-decision in his first career start. The freshman righthander pitched four innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk. After an ominous start, hitting the leadoff batter on his first pitch of the game, McGrath settled down to turn in a solid outing.

The Deacons struck first with four runs in the second. Dykstra led off with a solo home run to rightfield, lining a 1-1 pitch from Winthrop starter Wade Newman over the tips of the trees beyond the fence. The homer was Dykstra's team-leading ninth of the season. One out later, Hood singled through the left side. After Hood was erased on an Andy Goff fielder's choice, Ocheltree and Smith followed with consecutive singles, Smith's hit driving in Goff from second.

With runners at the corners, Ben Terry laid down a bunt single on an 0-2 pitch to drive in Ocheltree. Fox followed with a run-scoring single to center, but Terry was thrown out at home trying to plate another run on the play.

Winthrop cut the deficit in half with two runs in the top of the third. Bryn Henderson reached on a one-out double and moved up a base on a groundout. Kevin Nolan then hit the first pitch he saw from McGrath to left center for a two-run home run.

The Eagles cut into the deficit some more with a run in the fourth. Eddie Rohan hit a two-out solo home run off the scoreboard in leftfield to pull the visitors to within 4-3.

Winthrop tied the score with a two-out rally against reliever Joel Ernst in the fifth. After Ernst got two quick outs, Tony Brunetti was hit by a pitch and then took second on a wild pitch. Nolan followed with a double down the leftfield line to plate Brunetti.

The Deacons jumped right back on top courtesy of Woodall's two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth. After Dykstra reached on a four-pitch walk, Woodall hit an 0-2 pitch from reliever Billy Tinsley to left center for his second homer of the season.

The Eagles quickly responded with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth, scoring both with two outs in the inning. John Murrian and Eddie Tisdale led off with consecutive singles against Ernst. The Deacons then went to Brad Kledzik, who got the next two outs. However, a wild pitch and an RBI single from Tyler McBride plated the two runs to tie the score at 6-6.

Wake took the lead again with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Smith reached on a leadoff error and then moved to second and to third on a groundout and a flyout. Murray followed with a big two-out base hit, singling to right to score Smith.

Winthrop once again answered the following inning, getting a run off reliever Eli Robins. Henderson hit an 0-1 pitch from Robins to left center for a leadoff solo home run. The Eagles put two more runners on against Robins before lefty Alex Wiesner came on to get the Deacs out of the jam. Wiesner struck out Rohan to end the inning with the bases loaded.

The Deacs took their fourth lead of the game with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Hood led off with a triple to deep right centerfield. Goff cashed the run in with a sacrifice fly to center. Ocheltree followed with a triple of his own, his ACC-leading fourth of the season, lofting a high flyball to left center. Smith plated him with a sacrifice fly to right to give Wake a 9-7 advantage.

The Eagles looked as if they would tie the game for a fourth time but Wiesner would have none of that. After Winthrop put the first two runners on, Wiesner battled back to get the final three outs, the last two coming on a 6-4-3 double play ball.

Wake Forest added an insurance run in the eighth on Fox's leadoff home run. Fox drove a 3-1 pitch from Matteo D'Angelo just to the left of the scoreboard in left center. It was Fox's third homer of the season.

Winthrop would not go quietly in the ninth, rallying against Negus. Nolan led off with a single, and Froehlich then reached on a fielding error. After a flyout moved Nolan up a base, Tisdale grounded a single up the middle to drive him in. Negus rebounded to get a strikeout and a flyout to end the game.

D'Angelo (0-1) took the loss for the Eagles. The righthanded reliever pitched 1 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts.

Newman did not factor into the decision for Winthrop. The righthander allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits. He struck out two and walked one before leaving with a runner on and two outs in the fourth.

Nolan led the Eagles at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs, two runs, a double and a home run.

Kledzik pitched an inning of scoreless relief for Wake, giving up just one hit with a strikeout.

Wake Forest returns to ACC play this weekend with a three-game series at Virginia. The series kicks off on Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch at Davenport Field in Charlottesville.



NCAA Tennis Gear