March 15, 2002
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Ryan Johnson??s two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted 11th-ranked Wake Forest (14-2, 1-0 ACC) to a 10-9 win over fifth-ranked Georgia Tech (14-2, 0-1) on Friday afternoon at Hooks Stadium in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools. The loss snapped the Yellow Jackets?? winning streak at seven games.
Trailing 9-8 after eight and a half innings, Wake Forest rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jamie D??Antona and Stephen Ghutzman led off the inning with back-to-back walks before Johnson laced a double off the center field wall that scored both runners with one out.
Dave Bush (2-0) picked up the win in relief for the Demon Deacons after tossing a scoreless ninth inning. Tech??s Brian Burks (4-1) took the loss, allowing two runs in 2.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.
Adam Bourassa led Wake Forest with three hits and three RBI, while Johnson and Ryan Braun each drove in two runs in the game. The Demon Deacons were aided by six walks by the Yellow Jackets?? pitching staff.
The game appeared to be a pitcher??s duel in the opening innings as Tech??s Kyle Bakker and Wake??s Kyle Sleeth teamed to retire the first 15 batters of the game. However, neither starting pitcher figured in the decision as the game quickly turned into a back-and-forth offensive affair.
The Demon Deacons took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Jeff Ruziecki led off with a double and took third base on a single from Ben Ingold. An infield single from Adam Bourassa plated Ruziecki, while Ingold scored on a RBI groundout from Nick Blue after taking third base on a wild pitch.
Tyler Parker gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-2 lead with a two-out, three run homer in the top of the fourth inning. The opposite field shot was Parker??s second home run of the season. The Deacons immediately answered in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer from Ryan Braun, his second of the season, that gave Wake Forest a 4-3 lead.
Tech responded with two runs in the top of the fifth inning to retake the lead at 5-4. Clifton Remole delivered a one out single and took second base on a balk. Eric Patterson plated Remole with a RBI single, and then took second base on the throw to home plate. Patterson stole third base and Matthew Boggs drove him in with a ground out to shortstop.
The Yellow Jackets pushed the lead to 7-4 in the sixth inning on a two-run homer from Jason Perry, his team-leading fifth of the season. Wake Forest plated two runs, all the damage coming after two outs, in the bottom of that inning on a two-run single from Adam Bourrassa to make the score 7-6.
Tech added two more runs in the top of the seventh, making the score 9-6. Patterson singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Victor Menocal, while Perry scored Matthew Boggs when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Wake Forest immediately answered with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Nick Blue was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and a walk to D??Antona put runners on first and second with no outs. Ghutzman drove in Blue with a double off the right field wall, while D??Antona scored on Steve LeFaivre??s RBI groundout. Those runs trimmed the Tech lead to 9-8 before the Demon Deacons mounted their winning rally in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Georgia Tech and Wake Forest will continue the three-game series on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. each day. Live scoring for the game will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com, while a live radio broadcast can be heard on WREK (91.1 FM) in Atlanta.