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March 2, 2008
Dothan, Ala. - Penn State kept in the game early before Wake Forest broke open the game with a six-run seventh inning as the Demon Deacons defeated Penn State 15-4 on Sunday morning in the final game of the ScreenTech Wiregrass Classic for both teams. The game was shortened to eight innings due to travel restrictions for both teams.
Seth Whitehill started for the Nittany Lions and although he started well, lasted just three innings, allowing six hits and six runs. Ryan Stobart pitched three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the seventh and he left having allowing four hits and three runs with two strikeouts. Calvin Grumley struck out three in 1.1 innings of work but also gave up two walks and three runs. For the offense, Cory Wine went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Wes Borden went 2-for-4 with a home run and Lou Picconi went 1-for-1 with an RBI and reached base in all three plate appearances. Brian Ernst also went 2-for-5.
Whitehill set down the first five hitters of the game before running into trouble with two outs in the second. He issued a walk to Brett Linnenkohl and after a stolen base, gave up an infield single to Dustin Hood, who also stole second. Evan Ocheltree then hit a ball to right field that Rick Marlin lost in the sun and had it go over his head to a two-run double to put the Demon Deacons up 2-0.
The Nittany Lions put together their own little bit of two-out thunder in the bottom of the second to get one run back and cut the lead to 2-1. With Cory Wine on first base with two outs after a leadoff single, Grant Youngblood and Lou Picconi drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Brian Ernst then beat out a little dribbler down the third base line for an infield RBI single that scored Wine before Landon Nakata was just beaten by a half-step at first on his soft grounder into the hole at shortstop.
Wake then took a five-run lead with four runs in the third inning and they pounded out four hits in the inning. Leadoff hitter Ben Terry led off with a double and scored on a single by Steven Brooks. Allen Dykstra then walked and Mike Murray drove in Brooks with a single. After a groundout to second advanced both runners, they both scored on a bloop single into short right field by Hood.
Penn State took advantage of some wildness by Wake Forest starter Mark Adzick to score two in the bottom of the third, as they were issued three walks, including two with the bases loaded, and also got two hits. Rob Yodice started the inning with a single through the right side and one out later, Wine drew a walk and then Wes Borden reached on a bunt single to load the bases. After the second out, both Youngblood and Picconi drew bases-loaded walks to force in two runs and knock out Adzick before reliever Joel Ernst got Brian Ernst to fly out to left.
Ryan Stobart relieved Whitehill to start the fourth inning and pitched three scoreless innings from the fourth through the sixth innings to keep it a three-run deficit. Wake Forest relievers Ernst and Brandon Johnson also kept the Nittany Lions off the scoreboard in the middle innings as well, however, including pitching around a leadoff double in the fifth by Wine and a leadoff single in the sixth by Picconi.
The Deacons finally got to Stobart in the seventh inning and broke the game open against both him and relievers as they scored six runs to take a 12-3 lead. Willy Fox started it with a one-out single and Dykstra walked. The runners then stole second and third base before scoring on a two-run single by Murray. That hit meant the end of the day for Stobart and he was relieved by David Lutz, who gave up a walk to Linnenkohl, an RBI single to Hood and then a two-run RBI triple to Ocheltree. Lutz was then pulled for Calvin Grumley, who gave up an RBI single to Andy Goff before striking out the next two hitters to end the inning.
Borden hit his first career Penn State home run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 12-4, clubbing a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right field for the second Nittany Lion home run of the weekend. Wake scored its final three runs in the eighth on a two-run single by Ocheltree and an RBI single by Goff off Grumley. Freshman lefty Mike Pierce made his Penn State debut and got the final out of the eighth on a groundout.
The Nittany Lions (2-4) will now be off until next Sunday, when they begin their eight-game stretch in West Palm Beach, Fla. for their spring break trip. There will be some changes in the games from what is currently on the schedule. The entire spring break schedule as well as game times will be announced this week.