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Baseball Uses Big Fourth Inning to Defeat Wake Forest 16-13

Baseball Uses Big Fourth Inning to Defeat Wake Forest 16-13

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Helped by an 11-run fourth inning, the 19th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (26-7) defeated Wake Forest (18-13) 16-13 in a slugfest at the Wake Forest Baseball Park in Winston-Salem, N.C. Coastal Carolina had a 15-2 lead after the 11-run inning, but held on as the Demon Deacons scored eight runs combined in the seventh and eighth innings.   Coastal Carolina was leading 4-2 heading into the top of the fourth. Freshman Tommy Winegardner (St. Leonard, Md./Riverdale Baptist) reached on an error to lead off the inning. Freshman Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) then reached on a fielder’s choice. Coastal Carolina’s next 12 hitters would reach base safely. Sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) reached on a throwing error by Shane Kroker. He stole second and the Chants would load the bases as junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) was hit by a pitch. Senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) walked to bring in Motter. Senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) cleared the bases with a double to right, making it 7-2 Chants. Wake Forest replaced starting pitcher Michael Dimock with Joel Ernst, who promptly gave up singles to junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) and freshman Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby), the latter scoring Anderson. Redshirt freshman Rich Witten (Danville, Ky./Danville) walked to load the bases and Winegardner’s single brought in a pair of runs. Motter doubled to bring in Witten and Noel brought in a pair of runs with a single up the middle.   Rice walked and Bortnick loaded the bases with a single. Anderson brought in the 11th run of the inning with a single to center field.   Wake Forest struck first in the first, scoring two runs off senior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill). Steven Brooks and Shane Kroker singled to lead off the game. Dustin Hood then grounded to short, but Motter toss to second was high and everyone was safe, loading the bases. Mike Murray would line to left to score the first run. With two out, Tyler Smith reached on an error by Anderson, loading the bases again. The Demon Deacons scored an unearned run as Carlos Lopez walked in Hood, making it 2-0 Wake.   Coastal Carolina got those two runs back in the top of the second. Iglesias opened the frame with a single to right. Iglesias went to second on a groundout from Bowman and scored on a single to right from Winegardner. Motter then tied the game with a double over Brooks’ head in center field.   In the third, Rice led off the inning with a home run in the right field gap, his fourth of the season. It also extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Bortnick walked, stole second and scored on a single from Bowman, making it 4-2 Chants.   Wake Forest scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Smith led off the inning with a double. He moved to third on a groundout by Evan Ocheltree and scored on an Austin Stadler single. Stadler would then score on a double from Brooks. Wake scored a run in the fifth as Wendall Woodall doubled to center to score Murray.   The Demon Deacons chipped into the Coastal Carolina lead in the seventh. Bentley Heyman reached and went to second on errors by Bortnick to open the inning. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on a Woodall single. Wake made it 15-7 on a Carlos Lopez groundout that brought in pinch runner Micah Jarrett. Coastal Carolina scored its 16th run of the game in the eighth as Rice singled to left to score Winegardner, who doubled to open the inning.   Wake Forest then had six runs in the eighth, keyed by a grand slam from Lopez. Redshirt sophomore Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Penn) retired the first two Demon Deacons, but gave up singles to Kroker and Heyman. Birmingham hit Ian Tompkins to load the bases. Jarrett walked to bring in a run and Smith scored a run with a single. That set up Lopez’s grand slam off senior Kent Altman (Conway, S.C./Conway).   Junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) came in to pitch the ninth and struck out the side, recording his eighth save of the season.   Winegardner and redshirt sophomore Dustin King (Myrtle Beach, S.C./Carolina Forest) had three hits apiece. Anderson drove in four runs, while Winegardner had three RBI. For Wake, Brooks, Kroker and Smith had three hits apiece, while Lopez drove in six runs.   Gagg earned his fourth win of the season, allowing 11 hits and four earned runs in seven innings of work. He struck out four and walked one. The loss was tagged to Dimock, who allowed six hits and four earned runs in 3.1 innings.   Coastal Carolina returns to Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field Friday, April 10 for a 12 p.m., matchup with Big South foe Radford.