Rhine's Grand Slam Highlights Deacs' Win over UNCG
April 16, 2013
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Mark Rhine hit his first-career grand slam to highlight a seven-run seventh inning, as Wake Forest defeated UNCG 11-4 on Tuesday night at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
The win helps the Demon Deacons sweep the season series with the Spartans after winning 5-4 in dramatic fashion on April 2 in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest boosts its record back to .500 at 20-20, while UNCG is now 17-20 on the season.
Leading 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning, the Demon Deacons exploded for seven runs to take a 10-1 advantage over the Spartans. The first four batters of the inning all reached base, as Pat Blair singled, Charlie Morgan walked, Matt Conway singled and Brett Armour recorded a two-run single through the left side.
Grant Shambley then sacrificed Conway and Armour into scoring position with a bunt before Joey Rodriguez drew his first-collegiate walk to reload the bases. Rhine then worked his at bat to a full count before sending a no doubter over the left center field wall. The home run was Rhine's third of the season and the fifth of his career.
The Deacs were not finished after the grand slam, as Evan Stephens was immediately hit by a pitch, and Blair brought him home all the way from first with a double to the gap in right center.
Stephens reached base in five of his six plate appearances, going 1-for-2 with two walks and two HBPs. Blair was able to reach base four times on the night and was 2-for-4 with a pair of walks. Stephens, Blair and Rhine all scored two times apiece.
Conway started on the mound for Wake Forest and did not give up an earned run in his 4.1-inning outing. He scattered six hits and struck out four batters without walking anyone while going 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored at the plate.
Niko Spezial entered in the fifth inning with two men on and only one out before striking out both batters he faced. He also went on to pitch a scoreless sixth and earned the win to move to 3-0 on the year. Fellow relievers Nate Jones and Aaron Fossas also each pitched one inning of shutout baseball in relief, as well.
The Demon Deacons got on the board first in the top of the third inning when Morgan drew a bases-loaded walk to score Rhine. Wake Forest scored twice more in the fifth after UNCG committed an error with two outs. The Deacs' final run was also of the unearned variety in the top of the eighth inning.
Wake Forest will have two days off before welcoming Boston College to Winston-Salem for a three-game series at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park this weekend. Sunday's game will be shows live on the ACC Digital Network.