Wake Forest Downs UNC Greensboro, 11-6; Sweeps Season Series
April 29, 2008
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Wake Forest used a combination of power and speed, getting a grand slam from Allan Dykstra and four stolen bases from Steven Brooks, to earn an 11-6 defeat of UNC Greensboro Tuesday evening at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
With the win, the Demon Deacons move to 18-27 overall. The Spartans drop to 27-18 on the year with their third straight loss. Wake swept the season series with UNCG for the second consecutive season.
After falling behind by a run in the first, Wake Forest took a big lead in the second, scoring six runs in the frame, the final four of which came on Dykstra's grand slam. From there, the Deacons staved off several Spartan rallies to hold on for the win. UNCG cut the deficit to two, 7-5, after the fourth. However, Wake responded with a pair of runs in the fifth to take control of the game.
Dykstra finished the evening 2-for-4 with four RBIs, a homer and a double. Brooks went 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and four stolen bases. The freshman came within one steal of tying the school record. Andy Goff also had a pair of hits for the Deacons, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Willy Fox extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his single in the seventh.
Brandon Johnson (2-1) picked up the win with three innings of spotless relief. The freshman righthander gave up just one hit and one walk on the day after entering the game to start the fifth inning.
Starter Ryan McGrath did not qualify for the win, pitching four innings on the day. McGrath allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits. He walked two and struck out one in his third start of the season.
UNCG struck first with a run in the first inning. Pedro Leon led off with a double and then scored three batters later on Ricky Orton's two-out double to center.
Wake Forest responded in fine fashion the following inning, plating six runs in a rally that was capped by Dykstra's grand slam. Dustin Hood singled to lead off and then moved to second on a groundout. Goff drove him in with the tying run, lacing a single to left center. Brooks followed with a single of his own to put runners at the corners. After Brooks stole second, UNCG starter Warren Slack uncorked a wild pitch to plate Goff.
A walk to Courtney Morgan put runners at the corners once again. Ben Terry then tried the safety squeeze, but Brooks was tagged out sliding into home. Willy Fox followed by inducing a two-out walk to load the bases for Dykstra. Dykstra launched the first pitch he saw from Slack to right center, hitting the scoreboard just beyond the fence for a grand slam. The homer was Dykstra's 14th of the season and the first grand slam of his career.
The Spartans got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the second. Corey Overholtzer led off the frame by driving a 3-2 pitch from McGrath to rightfield for a solo home run.
UNCG put together a two-out rally to get another run back in the third. Sean Snell reached on a two-out single, and Orton followed with a walk. Tim Carrier dumped a single into center to plate Snell. After a single from Overholtzer loaded the bases, Drew Gehringer hit a slow roller to first. McGrath raced over to take the throw from Dykstra and beat Gehringer to the bag to record the out.
The Deacons utilized their speed to score a run in the fourth. Brooks reached on a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third when the throw went into centerfield. One out later, Brooks scored on Terry's fielder's choice ground ball. The speedy freshman beat the throw home and scored standing up to give Wake a 7-3 lead.
The Spartans fought back with a pair of runs in their half of the fourth. Ed Jayjack hit a leadoff home run to right on a 1-0 offering from McGrath. After McGrath got two quick outs, Matt Gaski kept the inning alive with a single to center. Snell then reached on a fielding error, and Orton followed with an RBI single to right center.
Wake Forest plated two runs in the fifth to push its lead to 9-5. Hood led off with a single, and Evan Ocheltree reached on a hit by pitch. Goff followed by laying a bunt down the third base line. The throw to first was late and wild, allowing Hood to score and Ocheltree to move to third. Brooks drove in Ocheltree with a fielder's choice for the second run of the inning. The Deacs proceeded to load the bases with one out, but reliever Kory Judd came on to get an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
The Deacons added another run in the seventh. Brooks reached on a one-out single and stole second base one batter later. After a walk to Terry, Fox blooped a single into shallow center to drive in Brooks and give the visitors a 10-5 advantage.
Wake scored another insurance run an inning later. Mike Murray led off with a single, and Ocheltree followed suit one out later. Reliever James White then hit Goff to load the bases for Brooks. Brooks drove in Murray with a fielder's choice grounder to third.
UNCG cut the deficit to 11-6 with a run against reliever Alex Wiesner in the eighth. Gehringer reached on a fielding error to start the inning and then moved to second on a walk to Jayjack. After a wild pitch moved the runners up a base, Leon sliced a single into left to score Gehringer.
Slack (0-2) took the loss in his second start of the season for the Spartans. The righthander went just two innings, allowing six runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Overholtzer had three hits, while Leon and Orton had two hits apiece to lead UNCG at the plate. Orton drove in two runs on the night.
Wake Forest returns to action tomorrow when it hosts Davidson at 3 p.m. The game will be the Deacons' first home contest in two weeks. RHP Charlie Mellies is scheduled to start for Wake.