High Point Knocks Off Wake Forest, 7-6
May 18, 2004
High Point, N.C. - The Wake Forest baseball team lost its fifth straight game with a 7-6 decision at High Point on Tuesday afternoon.
The Deacons led 5-0 heading into the fifth inning behind a three-run first inning homer from Brad Scioletti, second inning RBIs by Matt Antonelli and Ben Ingold and a solid pitching performance to that point from freshman starter Josh Ellis.
But the Panthers scored six runs, five unearned, in the fifth inning to take the lead. The rally started harmlessly with a ground ball to second base. But, Nick Blue committed just his fourth error to allow the runner to reach first. Then, High Point's number eight and nine hitters followed with a single and a double. After two fly-outs, the Deacons needed just one more out to escape the jam.
The Panther hit parade continued with back-to-back doubles by Seby Renta and Mike Draska. That prompted a pitching change and reliever Sean Souders to enter the game. Souders got the Deacons out of the inning, but not before High Point had taken a 7-5 lead.
In the seventh inning, Wake Forest put runners on second and third with only one out, and the Deacons had three great chances to tie the game.
Scioletti's single to right field scored Nick Blue to cut the lead to one, but with only one out in the inning, Matt Antonelli, the game-tying run, was held at third base. A sacrifice fly would have tied the game and pinch hitter Ryder Mathias hit a soft liner into short center field. The throw was off-line but Antonelli remained at third. Then, J.B. Tucker bounced out to end the inning with High Point clinging to a one-run lead.
Wake Forest prevented High Point from adding to their lead in the eighth when, with a runner on third, Tucker corralled what would have been a wild pitch. He fired to reliever Kyle Young, who was covering the plate for the third out of the inning, and the score remained 7-6.
The ninth inning looked promising for the Deacons as Blue, the leadoff hitter, reached on a single through the middle. Antonelli attempted to lay down a bunt, but popped it foul behind the plate. Blue was running to second on contact and had arrived at second base by the time the ball was caught by High Point catcher Matt Keever. Keever threw to first base to double off Blue and seriously damage any chances at a Wake Forest comeback.
Ben Ingold grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
The Deacons gave starter Josh Ellis (1-3) a three-run cushion right away, courtesy of Brad Scioletti's three-run blast to left-center field. It was his fifth homer of the season and it scored Matt Antonelli and Ben Ingold who singled in front of Scioletti.
Ellis took the loss, lasting 4.2 innings. He yielded eight hits, but just one earned run with two strikeouts and no walks. High Point starter Josh Cotten (4-3) weathered the Deacons' early storm to pick up the win. Clayton Gordner fired two shutout innings to get the save.
Wake Forest fell to 17-29 overall while High Point improved to 11-41 on the season.
The Deacons host Florida State in the final weekend of the regular season starting Thursday at Hooks Stadium before entering the postseason at the ACC Tournament beginning next Tuesday night.