Wake Forest Takes Game One vs. Baseball, 6-3
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Pinch-hitter Tyler Smith drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the sixth inning Friday and Zach White tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings, striking out eight, as Wake Forest defeated NC State 6-3 in the first game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series at the Wake Forest Baseball Park.
Both teams came away with 1-6 records in the ACC. The Wolfpack fell to 10-10 overall while Wake Forest improved to 10-8. Demon Deacons reliever Zach White (2-0) picked up the win with 3 1/3 impressive innings. He allowed no runs on two hits and two walks while striking out a career-high eight. NC State starter Jimmy Gillheeney (3-1) worked 5 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs on five hits to take his first loss of the season. He walked three and struck out five.
The Deacons took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Evan Ocheltree, now in what seems to NC State fans like his seventh year of competition at Wake Forest, hit a two-out, two-run homer to the opposite field.
The Wolfpack got on the board with a run in the top of the third. Cameron Conner reached on a force play, and Drew Martin and Kyle Wilson hit infield singles to load the bases with one down. Dallas Poulk’s grounder to second base drove in Conner to cut the Wake Forest lead to 2-1.
The Deacons got that run back in the bottom half of the inning when freshman third baseman Carlos Gomez hit a two-out solo home run to left to make it 3-1.
The Pack cobbled together another one-run rally in the top of the fifth. Wilson reached on a force play and Dallas Poulk bunted him to second. Drew Poulk drove his cousin home with a bad-hop single through the right side of the infield.
Devon Cartwright led off the top of the sixth with a walk, spelling the end of the evening for Wake Forest starter Austin Stadler. Phil Negus came in to pitch for the Deacons and pinch-hitter Pat Ferguson singled up the middle to put runners on first and third with none out. Chris Schaeffer hit a sharp grounder to third that Lopez made a diving stop on, but the force at second was the only out he could make. Cartwright scored on the play to tie the game at 3-3.
The tie was short-lived. Ryan Semeniuk belted a one-out double to left in the bottom of the sixth and Smith’s two-out pinch-hit single up the middle drove in Semeniuk to give the Deacons the lead once more at 4-3.
Wake Forest loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the seventh on an infield single, a walk and an error. Reliever Kyle Rutter kept the damage to a single run thanks to a comebacker to the mound, but the Wolfpack infield failed to turn a potential double-play grounder off the bat of Shane Kroker, scoring Mike Murray to give the Deacs a 5-3 lead.
Smith got his second hit of the game with one down in the bottom of the eighth, a single through the right side of the infield. Dustin Hood’s single to right glanced off the outstretched glove of Wilson at second and scored Smith to extend the Wake Forest lead to three runs at 6-3.
NC State and Wake Forest will play the second game of this weekend’s three-game series on Saturday at 6 p.m. WKNC-FM (88.1) will broadcast the game live, and the broadcasts will be available on-line at gopack.com through the Pack Pass Package.