Deacons knock off Wolfpack
Published in Sports on May 25, 2012 1:49 PM
GREENSBORO -- Sophomore Jack Fischer threw a career-high, eight-plus innings and seventh-seeded Wake Forest dumped North Carolina State, 7-3, during second-day action in the 2012 ACC baseball tournament at NewBridge Bank Park.
The Deacons (33-23 overall) face Miami at 7 p.m. today. The third-seeded Wolfpack (39-16) get today off before playing in-state archrival North Carolina at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Fischer, making only the fifth start of his college career, dominated after surrendering a home run to Trea Turner on the first pitch of the game. The home run was Turner's fourth of the season.
Wake caught up in the bottom of second. Carlos Lopez was hit by a pitch and Charlie Morgan singled. Lopez advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored when Brett Armour lined a two-out single, tying the game at 1-1.
N.C. State regained the lead in the third, when singles by Turner, Danny Canela and Ryan Mathews made it a 2-1 game.
The Deacons broke open the game in an unusual third inning. Conor Keniry led off with a walk and came all the way around on three wild pitches by starter Anthony Tzamtzis (5-5), the last of which prompted the Wolfpack to replace him with D.J. Thomas.
Miami 5, UNC 3
Dale Carey looked like an unlikely power source, and that was before he slammed a foul ball off his left foot Thursday afternoon.
The Miami outfielder then shrugged off precedent and pain to deliver a tie-breaking and ultimately decisive two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning as the sixth-seeded Hurricanes defeated the No. 3-ranked Tar Heels.
The Hurricanes (35-20), less than 24 hours removed from a ninth-inning, 3-2 loss to N.C. State, remained in title contention by ending UNC's national-best winning streak at 14 games. They didn't secure the triumph, however, until closer AJ Salcines caught Colin Moran looking at a third strike with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth.
"What do you want? For me to lie to you?" Miami coach Jim Morris joked. "Of course I was tense."
The Tar Heels (43-14) had their own statistically improbable moment in the top of the seventh.
Pinch-hitter Grayson Atwood, a freshman who had only 13 regular-season at-bats, smacked a two-run homer to tie it at 3-3 off coach Mike Fox's bench. Atwood did deliver a walk-off RBI against Coastal Carolina in March, but he hadn't been in a serious pressure situation since April 1.
"My approach was to put a good swing on the first good pitch I saw," Atwood said. Carey, a sophomore, had exactly two long balls in 359 career at-bats as he walked into the box against UNC ace Kent Emanuel, 8-3 with a 2.03 ERA in regular-season play. He didn't feel appreciably better about his chances when the foul ball caught his back foot.
"That was a sharp pain," Carey said. "I went down and stayed down for about a minute. Tried to walk it off. I remember getting back in the box and thinking I just wanted to get a good at-bat."
He achieved that mission with a fly ball over the 365-foot sign in left center that made it 5-3.
Virginia 3, Clemson 2
Virginia scored a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally for a win over Clemson.
The tying run scored on a hit batter, while the winning run was forced in on a walk which was just fine with winning coach Brian O'Connor.
"All year, we've been very opportunistic," Connor said. "We never really pound teams; we've done what we needed to do."
Kyle Crockett struck out Brad Felder to off the Clemson eighth. But Virginia catcher Nate Irving couldn't come up with the pitch, which struck plate umpire Frank Sylvester's right elbow and bounced away.
The play was scored a passed ball.
Right fielder Harrington made a diving stop on Jay Baum's shallow pop fly. Felder stole second with one out. McGibbon hit a sharp grounder to short, which Chris Taylor booted, allowing Felder to score.
Taylor indicated that he "rushed, came up too early."
Mike Kent came on in the eighth for Clemson. After retiring the first two hitters, Kent allowed a single to Brandon Downes, hit Irving with a pitch and walked pinch-hitter Kenny Towns. Kent then hit Taylor with a pitch, sending in pinch-runner Mitchell Shifflett with the tying run.
Scott Firth replaced Kent, who walked Branden Cogswell, forcing Irving home with the go-ahead run.
Clemson coach Jack Leggett said his team "imploded" in the eighth inning.
"The next thing I knew, we were behind a run," Leggett said. "But we had lots of opportunities and didn't do anything with them."
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