Baseball Defeats Liberty

Deacons win in bottom of ninth.

April 23, 1998

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Jason Aquilante scored from second base on an infield base hit by Scott Daeley in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Wake Forest a 10-9 win over Liberty in college baseball action on Thursday afternoon at Hooks Stadium.

With the win Wake Forest improves to 31-17 while Liberty falls to 25-21.

The bottom of the ninth started with the score tied at 9-9. Wake's Scott Siemon led off with a walk given up by Paige Hurley. Aquilante's sacrifice bunt attempt failed and Siemon was out at second on a fielder's choice. Will Rikard walked to give Wake Forest runners on first and second with one out. Chris Turner flew out to center field and was unable to advance the runners.

With two outs, Daeley hit a grounder between first and second that was stopped by Liberty's diving second baseman Jay Sullenger. Sullenger jumped up, but did not have a play at first. As he stood making his decision to hold the ball, Aquilante rounded third and sped home. Sullenger made the throw to catcher David Benham but Aquilante slid safely under the tag to give the Deacons the 10-9 win.

It was a disappointing loss for the Flames who scored eight unanswered runs off Wake Forest pitching to erase an early 7-1 Deacon lead. The Liberty cause was led by Jason Benham who finished the afternoon 4-5 with three runs scored, two RBI and a triple.

Liberty held a brief lead in the top of the eighth inning when Benham delivered his triple to right center field with two outs. David Dalton followed with his ninth home run of the year and gave the Flames a 9-7 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Wake Forest rallied to tie the score. The rally started when Ben Danosky was hit by a Ryan Mick pitch with two outs. Jon Palmieri and Carlos Brackley both followed with walks to load the bases. Andrew Riepe delivered a double to left field, his second of the day, to plate Danosky and Palmieri. Brackley was thrown out at home to end the inning.

Palmieri continues to swing the bat effectively for George Greer's club. The Melville, NY native was 2-3 with four RBI. He hit a three-run homer in the first inning and connected on an RBI double, his 25th of the season, in the third inning. He is now one double shy of tying the Wake Forest single season mark for doubles. That record of 26 was set by Chris Kowilcik in 1991.

Wake Forest's Jeremy Ward (7-8) pitched one inning of relief giving up a hit and striking out two batters to earn the win. Hurley (0-3) took the loss for Liberty.

The Demon Deacons will travel to Virginia for a three game ACC series that will begin Friday at 3 p.m. in Charlottesville, VA. For Wake Forest, 10-10 in the ACC, it will be the last conference series of the year.

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