March 4, 2005
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The University of Virginia baseball team found itself down 8-0 after one inning and 9-0 through three innings of play before scoring eight of the game's next 10 runs before falling to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Cavaliers' Atlantic Coast Conference opener, 11-8. The game was the first contest of a three-game ACC series between UVa and WFU at the Demon Deacons' Gene Hooks Stadium. The loss snapped Virginia's six-game winning streak over Wake Forest which dated back to April 25, 2003.
"After the first inning, our players played very hard," said UVa head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "I told our players after the game, that's as much enthusiasm we have shown as a team all year. Maybe it took something like Wake Forest (starting strong) to wake us up. But we swung the bat great, we battled and we had some clutch hits with two outs and that was a great thing to see."
Wake Forest wasted no time establishing a lead and jumped out to an 8-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning. The first five Demon Deacon batters that stepped to the plate reached base on a hit and each baserunner came around to score a run to give WFU an early 5-0 lead. The side was capped off by a three-run home run to right-center field by Matt Miller to give Wake Forest an eight-run advantage through one inning of play.
The Demon Deacons extended their lead to 9-0 in the bottom of the third inning when Miller hit his second home run of the game, this time a solo line drive over the right field wall.
But the Cavaliers stormed back in the top of the fourth inning and made it a 9-5 ballgame by batting through the lineup and scoring five runs. After UVa's Ryan Hudson led off the inning with a walk and Brandon Guyer doubled down the left field line, Scott Headd drove in UVa's first run of the game with an RBI ground-out to shortstop to score Hudson to make it a 9-1 ballgame. One batter later, Mike Campagna connected on a RBI-single up the middle to drive in Guyer to make it 9-2. After a pair of bunt-singles by Kyle Werman and Tim Henry to load the bases, Matt Street sent a two-run RBI single through the right side to drive in Campagna and Werman to make it a 9-4 contest. Ryan Zimmerman then plated Henry from third base to make it a 9-5 game with a sacrifice fly to center field to pull the Cavaliers to within four runs.
Wake Forest stopped Virginia's scoring run and got back on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning and tacked on a pair of runs to take an 11-5 lead. WFU's Brendan Enick led off the side with a walk before scoring on a Cavalier error and Andy Goff eventually scored from third base when Matt Antonelli was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
But the Cavaliers fought back again and cut the lead to 11-7 in the top of the eighth inning when Ryan Hudson connected on a two-run home run to right field. Hudson's home run his first this season and was the first of his collegiate career. Virginia then chipped Wake Forest's lead to 11-8 in the top of the ninth inning when Campagna walked before he scored a run four batters later following another Demon Deacons error. But that would be as close as UVa would get as the Cavaliers fell by three runs, 11-8.
UVa starting pitcher Mike Ballard (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after going 4.0 innings and allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on 12 hits. Robert Poutier went 4.0 scoreless innings in relief action and struck out three batters while giving up just one hit.
The Demon Deacons' Charlie Mellies (2-1) recorded the win on the mound after tossing 4.2 innings and allowed two unearned runs on six hits while striking out three batters. WFU starting pitcher Tim Morley lasted just 3.1 innings and allowed five runs on nine hits and struck out two batters in a no-decision.
With the loss, Virginia's record falls to 8-4 overall, 0-1 in the ACC. The victory improves Wake Forest's record to 6-7 overall, 1-0 in the conference. WFU now holds a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.
The Cavaliers and Demon Deacons will return to action on Saturday, March 5th when UVa and WFU play the second game of the three game series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 PM at Gene Hooks Stadium.
-- UVa --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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