Wake Forest Baseball falls To #8 Coastal Carolina

CONWAY, S.C. - Eighth-ranked Coastal Carolina scored four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to record a come-from-behind victory over Wake Forest, 9-4, on a beautiful Tuesday evening at Charles Watson Stadium.

Wake Forest falls to 6-7 on the season, while Coastal Carolina improves to 12-1 and extends its winning streak to 10 straight games, including three straight comeback wins.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Coastal Carolina grabbed its first lead of the game with four runs in the inning. Taylor Motter led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on a base hit by Steve Davis. A bunt single by Woodward brought Motter home to cut the lead 4-2. Noel doubled down the left field line to bring home Davis to trim the lead to one. La Stella hit a slow grounded up the first base line that was fielded by White, who tagged out La Stella for the first out of the inning. However, on the play Woodward came in to score from third to tie the game at four. A ground out to second by Daniel Bowman put the Chanticleers in front 5-4 as Noel scored the go-ahead run.

The Chanticleers broke the game open with fourb runs in the bottom of the eighth. Josh Conway reached on a walk to lead off the inning and quickly moved to second on a stolen base. A sacrifice bunt by Motter moved Conway to third. Davis lined a double over the head of Kroker in a drawn in Wake Forest infield to score Conway. Woodward was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with one out. Noel reached on an infield single to Pat Blair to load the bases. La Stella singled to bring home one run, while Iglesias followed with a two-RBI single to put Coastal in front 9-4.

Wake Forest put the first two runners on in the top of the ninth, but Austin Fleet was able to retire the next three batters in order to end the game and give the Chanticleers a 9-4 win.

Ryan Connolly earned his first win of the season, tossing a perfect 1.2 innings with one strkeout. Zach White suffered the loss to drop to 0-1 on the year. White gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in 0.1 of an inning.

Connolly was part of a stellar effort by the Chanticleer bullpen. Four Coastal Carolina relievers combined to allow just one unearned run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Matt Rein pitched 3.2 innings and gave up three hits and one unearned run. Matt Laney and Austin Fleet also had scoreless outings.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Wake starter Brandon Johnson pitched four solid innings, giving up one unearned run on five hits. Coastal Carolina starter Mike Hughes allowed three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings.

Steven Brooks hit his second home run of the season and finished the game 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Mike Murray and Austin Stadler each added two hits, while Carlos Lopez and Mark Rhine drove in one run each. Ryan Semeniuk extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games, going 1-for-3.

Davis led Coastal offensively with a 3-for-4 night, two runs scored and an RBI. La Stella and Iglesias each drove home two runs in the win.

Wake Forest struck first with two runs in the top of the first. Pat Blair led off the game with a double down the left field line. Brooks quickly brought home Blair with a towering two-run homer over the left-center field fence to put the Deacs in front 2-0.

Coastal Carolina answered right back with a run in the bottom of the first. With one out, La Stella doubled to the right-center field alley. Iglesias advanced La Stella to third with a long fly out to the base of the wall in center field. It appeared that Johnson would get out of the inning unscathed, but Shane Kroker was unable to field a chopper to third off the bat of Bowman and La Stella came across the plate to score.

The Demon Deacons were able to get the run back in the top of the second. Stadler led off the inning with a single to left field and moved to second on a walk to Matt Conway. A sacrifice bunt by Shane Kroker advanced both runners to scoring position. Rhine drove home Stadler on a ground out to short to make the score 3-1.

Wake Forest extended the lead to three with a run in the top of the sixth. Murray led off the inning with a double just inside the right field line. A bad throw by Rein on a failed pickoff attempt advanced Murray to third. Lopez grounded out to shortstop to score Murray for Wake's fourth run of the game. Stadler nearly made it a four run game, but his deep fly to right center field was hauled in at the wall by Rico Noel.

Wake Forest returns to action on Wednesday at 4 p.m., traveling to Wilmington, N.C., to battle the UNC Wilmington Seahawks. Live stats and a recap will be available on WakeForestSports.com.

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