ROCK HILL, SC — Wake Forest scored early and often as the Demon Deacons outslugged Winthrop 10-2 Tuesday night at The Winthrop Ballpark.
Wake Forest starting pitcher Matt Conway (2-1) led the way for the Demon Deacons going five strong innings and allowing just one unearned run on three hits. Conway made an impact at the plate as well with a two-run blast over the wall in straight away center in the fifth inning. Wake Forest launched a trio of homers off Eagle pitching while nine different hitters recorded a hit for the Demon Deacons. Clay Altman managed to score a pair of runs in the game but that was all Winthrop would get as the Wake Forest bullpen held the Eagles to just one run on three hits in four innings of relief to secure the 10-2 victory.
Tuesday night’s loss to Wake drops Winthrop to 15-28 on the 2013 campaign while the Demon Deacons improve to 24-20 on the season. The Eagles now have a short break for finals week and will return to action when they travel to Greenville, NC next week to take on Wofford at Fluor Field Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. The Eagles beat Wofford 6-1 when the teams met in Rock Hill earlier this season.
Wake jumped on Eagles starting pitcher Steven Howell (1-1) right out of the gate as catcher Charlie Morgan’s second home run of the season put the Demon Deacons up 2-0 after the first inning of play. Wake Forest picked up where they left off in second with Jack Carey’s leadoff single to left field. Carey was eventually moved around to score on Joe Napolitano’s RBI single up the middle. Conor Keniry capped off the three-run inning with a bases loaded, two-run single through the right side putting the Demon Deacons up 5-0 through two innings.
Wake Forest tallied another run in the fourth but the Eagles got that run back in the bottom half of the inning when Kyle Edwards reached base on an error by the pitcher allowing Altman to race home from third scoring Winthrop’s first run of the game.
Conway helped himself out in the fifth with a towering two-run homer to center field putting Wake up 8-1. The Demon Deacons tacked on another run in the inning on Evan Stephens’ RBI single through the right side scoring Kevin Conway and extending the lead to 9-1.
After roping his first career triple in the bottom of the sixth, Altman came in to score on Max Vogel’s ground out to the shortstop cutting the lead to 9-2. Wake Forest, however, didn’t allow Winthrop to come any closer as the Eagles were held scoreless in the final three innings. The Demon Deacons added to their total on Pat Blair’s second home run of the season as Wake Forest went on to win 10-2.
“It’s tough to play from behind. Right from the get-go we were behind the 8-ball. We couldn’t get anything going,” commended Winthrop head coach Tom Riginos. “They did a good job. They jumped on us for two in the first and a three-spot in the second and we are down 5-0 in the blink of an eye. It’s just tough for us to play from behind.”
Despite Wake Forest’s 12-hit performance, the Eagles got strong relief pitching from right-hander Jared Keels who pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit relief and senior Eric Ruth who blanked Wake in the ninth while striking out one.