Feb. 22, 2011
Winston-Salem, N.C. - Wake Forest capitalized on a combined three errors in the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings to rally past Western Carolina, 2-1, on Tuesday night in nonconference action at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, clinging to a 1-0 lead amidst swirling winds in the outfield, the Catamounts dropped a two-out fly ball that would have ended the game. Wake Forest's Brett Armour, who was aboard after drawing a two-out walk, was able to circle the base paths to record the game-tying run.
In the 10th, a catcher's interference put a runner aboard which was later erased in a bases-loaded throw to home, but WCU could not overcome an additional error that eventually allowed shortstop Pat Blair to draw an RBI walk to score pinch hitter Ryan Lloyd with the game-winning run.
WCU senior Matt Benedict struck out eight in six innings of scoreless, two-hit action in his first start of the season, exiting with a 1-0 lead. Relievers Andrew Chilcoat fanned two of the seven batters he faced in an inning and a third of relief with Brandon Johnson summonsed in the eighth, tallying a strikeout and groundout to end the frame in the inning and two thirds he worked.
Johnson was tagged with an unearned run when the dropped fly ball fell in centerfield, finishing with four walks and two strikeouts.
Junior reliever Kyle Stewart (0-1) was saddled with the tough-luck loss after allowing one hit out of the bullpen.
Senior third baseman Austin Schultz legged out an inning-opening double in the sixth inning as Western Carolina (3-1) climbed on top in the frame. As it turned out, it was the only extra base hit of the game. Matt Johns moved his classmate to third on a fly ball to right with Ross Heffley driving in his team-leading 10th run of the season on a single through the left side. Tyler White, who finished 2-for-4 to pace the squad, followed Heffley's single with a hit of his own, but a double-play ended the threat with WCU holding a 1-0 lead.
WCU out-hit Wake Forest, 8-to-4, but five total errors and nine walks against none by the Deacons proved to be the difference makers.
Wake Forest (1-3) reliever Michael Dimock earned the win, tossing two innings of one-hit relief, facing the minimum number of batters. Starter Zach White allowed just the one earned run on seven hits while a combined three Demon Deacon relievers tossed four and two-thirds innings of one-hit relief.
Western Carolina returns home this weekend for a three-game nonconference series against Manhattan at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. First pitch on Friday is set for 4:00 pm, with a change to Saturday's start time as the game has been moved to 12:00 pm. The series will wrap-up with a 2:00 pm start on Sunday afternoon.