Fischer Leads Deacs Past NC State 7-3
May 24, 2012
By Brittany Adams, WakeForestSports.com
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Sophomore starting pitcher Jack Fischer went eight innings and struck out five batters as Wake Forest defeated NC State 7-3 on Thursday night of the 2012 ACC Baseball Championship at NewBridge Bank Park.
The win evens the Demon Deacons' record at 1-1 in the ACC Baseball Championship and keeps the team's hope alive for a spot in the title game on Sunday. Wake Forest can earn a spot in the championship game with a win over Miami tomorrow (7 p.m.) and a win by NC State over North Carolina on Saturday.
Wake Forest is now 33-23 on the year, while NC State falls to 39-16. Fischer improved to 5-4 with the win, and Anthony Tzamtzis fell to 5-5 for the Wolfpack. The Deacons picked up their first ACC Championship win since they beat Virginia in the 2008 tournament.
For the third consecutive start, Fischer increased his career-high for innings pitching. He went 7.0 innings at Miami on May 12 and 7.2 innings at home against Clemson on May 18 before firing 8.0 innings tonight against NC State. His five strikeouts also marked a career high, while he gave up eight hits and just three runs.
Grant Shambley came up big offensively for the Demon Deacons, recording the first multi-RBI game of his career on a pinch hit double in the third inning. Charlie Morgan and Mark Rhine both collected two hits apiece, while Mac Williamson, Carlos Lopez and Brett Armour also recorded hits.
N.C. State struck first, scoring one run in the top of the first as leadoff hitter Trea Turner sent the first pitch of the game over the left field fence to give the Pack a 1-0 lead.
The Deacs got the one run back in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single to left by Armour that plated Lopez from third. Lopez reached base as the leadoff man after being hit by a pitch, and Charlie Morgan then singled through the right side to move Lopez down to second.
Two batters later, Jordan reached on a fielder's choice that advanced Lopez over to third before Armour sent the RBI single to left to even the score at one run apiece.
The Wolfpack added another run to their total in the third on an RBI single to left field by Ryan Mathews that scored Turner from third.
The Deacs would respond with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 advantage. Keniry drew a leadoff walk before Williamson launched a shot back to the warning track in left center that was caught just in front of the wall for the first out of the inning.
Back-to-back wild pitches by Tzamtzis allowed Keniry to reach third before a third wild pitch allowed him to score and Lopez to reach first on a walk.
Rhine then singled to shortstop two batters later to put runners on first and second with two outs. Shambley then entered the Deacon lineup in response to NC State bringing southpaw D.J. Thomas to the mound in relief.
After battling in the at bat, Shambley launched a two-RBI double to left past a diving Tarran Senay that scored both Lopez and Rhine to give the Deacs their first lead of the night at 4-2.
Fischer came up huge for the Deacs in the fifth inning, getting out of a jam to prevent any runs from scoring. After Turner doubled to begin the inning, Fischer recorded three straight outs, including a strikeout of Danny Canela to end the inning.
Wake Forest scored twice more in the fifth inning, beginning with a Williamson single to right center field. Williamson then advanced to second on a passed ball, and two batters later, Morgan drove an RBI single back up the middle that plated Williamson for the Deacs' fifth run of the game.
Morgan advanced to second after his single on a throwing error before moving to third on a passed ball. Back-to-back walks by Rhine and Shambley loaded the bases before another wild pitch allowed Morgan to score.
After a scoreless sixth inning by both teams, Fischer continued to dominate in the seventh inning, retiring the side in order on just seven pitches. The Demon Deacon defense held solid in the eighth, particularly as Blair made a backhanded stop at short on a hard hit ball by Mathews for the second out of the inning. Fischer then fielded a hard-hit ground ball back to the mound by Jake Fincher for the final out of the eighth inning.
The Deacs added one more run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Evan Stephens that scored Rhine from third base for the Deacs' seventh and final run of the game.
Fischer trotted back out for the ninth, but Andrew Ciencin walked and Brett Austin moved him to third with a single. John McLeod entered the game and immediately induced a 6-4-3 double play, as Ciencin came home to score. Michael Dimock then replaced McLeod and struck out Trea Turner to end the game.
Wake Forest will play its final pool play game tomorrow against Miami at 7 p.m. at NewBridge Bank Park.