Deacons Cruise Past Appalachian State, 13-5
April 25, 2007
BOONE, N.C. - Willy Fox made his return to the lineup after missing the past 15 games, and Joel Ernst earned his first career victory to help Wake Forest breeze past Appalachian State, 13-5, Wednesday afternoon at Smith Stadium.
The game was never in doubt for the Demon Deacons, who scored four in the first and three in the second, but the biggest highlight of the day was Fox's return. Fox missed the last 15 games with a laceration to his left leg, and the Deacons went 8-7 in his absence. The junior from Scottsdale, Ariz., had a solid day at the plate on Wednesday, going 1-for-3 with three RBIs, two runs and a double as the designated hitter.
Fox and the Deacon offense pounded out 17 hits total to help Ernst (1-2) earn the first win of his collegiate career. Ernst pitched six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. He struck out three and walked three.
At the plate, Evan Ocheltree led the Deacs going 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs and a pair of doubles. Andy Goff and Brett Linnenkohl also finished with three hits each, both hitting two doubles as well. Goff went 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs, while Linnenkohl was 3-for-6 with a career-high four runs scored.
Wake Forest improves to 24-22 overall with the win, while Appalachian State drops to 23-20 on the year.
The Deacs opened an early lead with four runs in the first, all of them coming with two outs. Linnenkohl led off with a single to right, and Fox walked two outs later. After Linnenkohl stole third without a throw, Hood drove in the first run of the game with a single up the middle. Terry followed with a single to load the bases for Ocheltree. Ocheltree responded by doubling to left to clear the bases and give the Deacons a 4-0 margin.
Wake added three more runs in the third to bring its lead to 7-0. Austin Jones led off with an infield single, and Linnenkohl followed with a double to the rightfield corner. Goff plated both Jones and Linnenkohl with a double of his own, hitting an 0-2 pitch to left. One out later, Goff stole third and then scored on Fox's sacrifice fly.
Appalachian State finally got to Ernst in the third. After Ernst had retired seven straight hitters, the Mountaineers put together a two-out rally to score a pair of runs. Jason Altenhof tripled to center, and Tom Prosser followed with a walk. David Rubenstein drove in the two runners with a double to right, cutting Wake's lead to 7-2.
The Demon Deacons got both runs back and then some in the top of the fourth. Linnenkohl led off with his second double of the game, and Goff followed with a single through the left side. Fox drove them in with a double down the righfield line. Hood continued the rally, singling on the next pitch to chase reliever Chris Patterson. With runners at the corners, Ocheltree hit a two-out single off Calvin Teague to drive in both Fox and Hood and push the Deacon lead to 11-2.
The Mountaineers added a run off Ernst in their half of the fourth. Isaac Harrow led off with a double and scored two batters later on Chris Baker's RBI single.
ASU scored another run in the sixth. Harrow again hit a leadoff double and then came around to score on Nick DeRose's two-out double.
Wake Forest finished its scoring for the day with two runs in the seventh. Tyler Smith led off with a home run to straightaway center, his seventh homer of the season. One out later, Linnenkohl reached on an error and then scored on Goff's double.
Appalachian State pushed a run across in the ninth against reliever Sean Souders. Frankie Lewis and DeRose hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. One out later, Lewis scored on Rand Smith's RBI groundout.
Kirby Wedekind came on for Ernst to start the seventh and pitched two innings of scoreless relief. Souders allowed one run on two hits in his inning of work.
Mountaineer starter Brandon Graves (1-1) lasted just two innings in the loss. The lefty gave up seven runs on seven hits with one strikeout and a walk.
The win evened the season series between Wake Forest and ASU. The Mountaineers defeated the Deacons 10-9 earlier this season, snapping a 17-game losing streak against Wake.
Wake Forest returns to ACC play this weekend, hosting Duke in a three-game series at Hooks Stadium. Friday's first pitch is set for 3 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday will each begin at 1 p.m. Sunday's game is scheduled to be broadcast on RSN.