Baseball eliminates Wake Forest in 12 innings, 7-4
ROUND ROCK, Texas -- No. 5 Texas survived an elimination game with a 12-inning, 7-4 win over Wake Forest at NCAA Division I Baseball Championship regional game action at The Dell Diamond.
The win propelled the Longhorns to the evening game where they will play UC Irvine. Texas needs to win two consecutive over the Anteaters to claim the regional title while UCI needs to win just one of the two.
The Longhorns posted three runs in the top of the 12th inning to break a 4-4 tie. Jordan Danks hit a leadoff single through the right side of the infield and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Russell. Chance Wheeless hit an infield single to put runners at the corners. Bradley Suttle plated Wheeless and Danks with a double to the right centerfield gap, staking Texas to a 6-4 lead. The Longhorns tacked on an insurance run when Russell Moldenhauer hit a double to the wall in right centerfield.
Wake Forest rallied back from a 4-1 deficit in the ninth inning to drive the game to extra frames. With Texas winning 4-1, Tyler Smith hit a single to left centerfield off Joseph Krebs. Smith moved to third on consecutive groundouts by Weldon Woodall and Evan Ocheltree. Andy Goff plated Smith with a single to leftfield, cutting the lead to 4-2. Randy Boone came in to relieve Krebs and gave up a two-run, pinch-hit home run to Brett Linnenkohl.
Moldenhauer drew first blood in the top of the fourth inning when he hit a solo home run over the fence in left centerfield.
Texas (46-16) tacked on three more runs in the fifth. Travis Tucker was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning. Danks switched positions with Tucker on a fielder's choice groundout and stole second base. Russell drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Wheeless hit a double down the rightfield line to plate Danks. Suttle hit a single through the left side of the infield driving in Wheeless and Russell, giving Texas a 4-0 advantage.
Wake Forest (34-29) broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the sixth inning when Smith hit a solo home run to leftfield.
James Russell started for Texas, weaving 3.2 scoreless innings, scattering one hit and one walk while striking out three. Krebs pitched five innings of relief, allowing three runs on five hits while fanning four Demon Deacons. Boone (5-6) earned the win with 2.1 innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits. Austin Wood picked up his first save of the season with two strike outs in one inning.
Josh Ellis (5-4) was the hard-luck loser for Wake Forest. He allowed three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out three over four innings.
Suttle led Texas' offense, going 2-for-3 with three walks, one double, one run and four RBI. Danks, Wheeless and Moldenhauer each added two hits.
Wake Forest (34-29)
TEXAS POSTGAME QUOTES
On fighting back: That is the attitude I have talked about with these guys. Anything less than a real strong mentality and this thing is lost. They fought back. They fought hard, and they overcame a lot of adversity. It was a difficult day. There is no question about that.
On the pitching: We have gone beyond our normal pitching roles. We will all see together whether I made good or bad choices in using the pitchers the way that I did. I know that is always in question, but this is the way I have pretty much done it and what I believe in. You have to get to that next step and then the miracles are going to take place and the unexpected is going to happen. There are no guarantees, but there is one guarantee. If we lose this game, we don't play another one.
WAKE FOREST POSTGAME QUOTES
On UC Irvine vs. Texas: UC Irvine doesn't like to stop when they get on base. They like to create havoc on the mound, for the pitcher and the defense. They try to disrupt that rhythm. They're a very tough team to defend, and they capitalize on their opportunities.
Wake Forest P Josh Ellis
Wake Forest PH Brett Linnenkohl