Cooney's Complete Game Helps Deacons Beat Clemson 9-3
April 23, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C. - Tim Cooney pitched his first-career complete game and gave up just two earned runs to help Wake Forest even the series against Clemson with a 9-3 win Saturday evening at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Demon Deacons improve to 16-24 overall and 7-13 in conference play with the win, as the Tigers drop to 24-14 and 10-10.
In a season full of strong pitching performances, Cooney perhaps had his most impressive outing against the Tigers on Saturday night. The sophomore lefty struck out seven but kept his pitch count down by not walking any batters and allowing his defense to take care of business behind him. He needed just 98 pitches to finish the nine innings, throwing 67 for strikes.
Cooney has pitched 7.2 innings on three occasions this season and pitched as many as 8.2 innings in a game last year against Duke on April 23.
The last Wake Forest pitcher to throw a complete game was Austin Stadler. He did so in a 2-1 loss at Virginia Tech on March 27 of last season.
Cooney also benefitted from one of Wake Forest's best offensive games of the season, as the Demon Deacons pounded out 12 hits. Carlos Lopez and Brett Armour each had three hits to lead the way. Lopez was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, and Armour was 3-for-5 with a run, a double and an RBI.
Conor Keniry went 0-for-2 but walked three times and came around to score each time he reached base. Mac Williamson and Charlie Morgan both had a hit and two RBIs, while Williamson also scored a pair of runs.
Wake Forest got on the board right away in the top of the first inning. Keniry reached base on a one-out walk and stole second to move into scoring position. Steven Brooks then drove him home with a single to left center.
Clemson answered in the bottom half of the inning, as John Hinson doubled to lead off the inning and came around to score two batters later on a single by Brad Miller.
The Demon Deacons continued to threaten in the second but came up empty. Wake Forest capitalized in the third, though, after sending eight batters to the plate.
Pat Blair was hit by a pitch and Keniry walked to put runners on first and second. Brooks then moved both runners over with a ground ball to first base. Two batters later, Williamson singled through the left side to plate both runners and ended up on second base himself after an error by the left fielder. Morgan followed with a base hit of his own into right center that drove in Williamson.
Clemson scored one in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 4-2, but that was the last earned run the Tigers would score in the game. Wake Forest was not finished, however, and scored two in the fifth and one run in each of the next three innings.
Matt Conway led off the fifth with a double down the right field line. Williamson then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the catcher threw the ball into right field, allowing Conway to score and Williamson to reach second. Morgan grounded out to second to advance Williamson another base, and Lopez drove him home with a deep sacrifice fly to center field.
The Deacons scored quickly in the sixth inning, as Armour led off the frame with an infield single and scored when Blair smashed a double to left center.
Lopez got the rally started in the seventh with two out when he singled into right field. He went to second on a pinch hit single by Stephen Schoettmer and stole third base with Armour at the plate. The Deacon catcher then picked up his third hit of the game and his first RBI with a base knock into left field.
Keniry scored the Deacs' final run in the eighth, leading off the inning with his third walk of the game. Conway walked two batters later and Williamson loaded the bases after he reached on catcher's interference. Morgan reached on a fielder's choice to short and allowed Keniry to come home.
Wake Forest will go for the series win tomorrow when it faces Clemson in Game 3 at 1 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.