Wake Forest Drops ACC Tournament Opener to No. 4 Florida State, 8-3
May 21, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - No. 4-ranked Florida State erased a 3-1 Wake Forest lead with seven runs over the final three innings to send the Demon Deacons to an 8-3 defeat in their opening game of the 2008 ACC Baseball Championship Wednesday evening at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The loss drops the seventh-seeded Deacons to 24-30 overall. The second-seeded Seminoles move to 47-9 on the year.
After falling behind 1-0 early on, Wake Forest rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. However, Florida State fought back with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. The go-ahead run came on a two-out, bases loaded wild pitch. The Seminoles then scored three more in the seventh and one in the eighth to run away with the victory.
Allan Dykstra capped the Deacons' sixth-inning rally with his third career ACC Tournament home run. Dykstra hit a 2-1 offering from FSU starter Matt Fairel for a two-run homer. It was his 15th of the season and his first since April 29 at UNC Greensboro.
Wake Forest starter Ben Hunter (4-6) suffered the loss despite turning in a solid outing. The senior righthander, making possibly the final start of his career, allowed four runs on six hits in six innings. Hunter struck out five and walked one on the night.
Willy Fox and Andy Goff had multi-hit performances for the Deacons. Fox was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run. Goff went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games. Dykstra drove in two of Wake's three runs with his homer.
Mike Murray extended his hitting streak to 13 games after beating out an infield single in the ninth. The streak matches his career-best and gives Murray a hit in 26 of his last 27 games.
Florida State broke a scoreless tie with a run in the third inning. Stuart Tapley went the opposite way on a 3-1 offering from Hunter for a one-out solo home run to right.
Wake Forest took the lead with three runs in the sixth. Ben Terry induced a leadoff walk from Fairel. Fox followed by lacing a double down the rightfield line, his second double of the game, to score Terry from first. After Fox stole third, Dykstra drilled a 2-1 offering from Fairel to right. The home run, Dykstra's 15th of the season, just missed leaving the entire park as it hit the top walkway beyond the outfield fence.
The Seminoles quickly responded by re-claiming the lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. After Hunter hit Jason Stidham with a pitch to lead off the inning, ACC Player of the Year Buster Posey followed with a two-run home run to left. One out later, Dennis Guinn and Tony Delmonico reached on consecutive singles. A walk to Ohmed Danesh loaded the bases, and a two-out wild pitch scored Guinn with the go-ahead run.
FSU added to its lead with three runs against reliever Brad Kledzik in the seventh. After Kledzik set the first two batters down in order, Posey hit the first pitch he saw to straightaway centerfield for his second homer of the day. Jack Rye followed with a bloop double down the leftfield line, and Guinn then launched a two-run homer to left to give the Noles a 7-3 advantage.
The Seminoles plated another insurance run against reliever Alex Wiesner in the eighth. Pinch hitter Stephen Cardullo reached on a leadoff single and then came around to score on Tyler Holt's sacrifice fly to deep center.
The Deacons would not go quietly in the ninth, loading the bases with one out. However, Wake could not plate a run as Jimmy Marshall pitched FSU out of the jam. Murray beat out an infield single to lead off, and one out later pinch hitter Brett Linnenkohl reached on an HBP. Goff then singled to left to load the bases. Marshall rebounded to get a strikeout and a lineout to end the game.
Fairel (10-2) picked up the win for Florida State. The lefty went seven innings, surrendering three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
John Gast and Marshall combined to hold the Deacons to three hits over the final two frames.
Posey and Guinn led the Seminoles at the plate. Posey went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs and a pair of homers. Guinn fell a double short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Kledzik, who is scheduled to start Saturday's game against Virginia, allowed three runs on three hits in one inning of work. Wiesner gave up one run in 2/3 innings of work, while Phil Negus came on to get the final out of the eighth.
Wake Forest will be off on Thursday before returning to ACC Tournament play on Friday against No. 1-ranked North Carolina. RHP Charlie Mellies (4-5, 4.96) is scheduled to start for the Deacons, while RHP Matt Harvey (6-2, 2.90) will start for the third-seeded Tar Heels. First pitch is set for 8 p.m.