Five-Run Ninth Inning Rallies Wake Forest Past UNC Wilmington
Feb. 15, 1998
WILMINGTON, NC - Jon Palmieri and Will Rikard homered in a five-run ninth inning to rally Wake Forest (3-0) from a one-run defecit to a 7-3 victory over UNC Wilmington (1-3) on Sunday afternoon at Brooks Field in Wilmington, NC.
With the Demon Deacons trailing 3-2 after eight innings, Palmieri led off the ninth inning with a solo home run to center field off UNCW,s Jake Simmons (0-1) to tie the score at 3 runs apiece. Ben Danosky followed Palmieri,s blast with a single and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Riepe. UNC Wilmington elected to intentionally walk Scott Siemon to put runners on first and second with one out and face Rikard. After fouling off several pitches, Rikard took a 2-2 fastball over the left field wall to give Wake Forest a 6-3 lead. The Deacons added an insurance run on a Wilmington error later in the inning.
Sophomore Eric Schmitt (1-0) picked up the win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings after taking over for starter John Hendricks. Hendricks went seven innings and allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and one walk while striking out eight batters.
Palmieri finished the game with two hits and two RBI while Rikard went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Danosky collected three hits in five at bats and finished the three game series with seven hits in 13 trips to the plate while Josh Otten finished the afternoon with two hits. Wake Forest, which had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the contest, stranded 13 runners in the game.
Wake Forest returns to action on Wednesday when the Deacs take on UNC Asheville in the 1998 home opener. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Hooks Stadium.