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Wake Falls To Miami 5-2 In Pool Play

Wake took a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning but couldn’t hold on, falling to Miami 3-2 and ending their time at the ACC Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Michigan State vs Miami Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Despite starter Parker Dunshee throwing a gem, giving up one run on four hits while striking out four and walking three, the Deacs fell to the Hurricanes 5-2 in an elimination game in Pod C of the ACC tournament. The lone blemish for Parker was a leadoff home run in the 7th to cut the Wake lead in half to 2-1. With the win, the Hurricanes advance to the semifinals on Saturday while Wake Forest waits until Monday to see who they will play in the NCAA Tournament.

After Dunshee got out of a mini-jam in the first, stranding a runner at second. Stuart Fairchild struck first driving a two-out pitch over the left field wall to give Wake a 1-0 lead through one inning.

Following a scoreless second where Dunshee struck out the side, Fairchild again added to Wake’s lead when he hit a breaking ball on the outside of the plate out to opposite field to stake Wake a 2-0 lead. Those would be the only runs Wake would score all day.

From the third, Dunshee cruised for the next few innings, getting out of a couple jams after the leadoff runners got on in both the 5th and the 6th before giving up a lead off home run in the 7th to cut the Wake lead in half to 2-1. Miami added a flare single to right with one out to bring up the go-ahead run. The next batter flew out to center and Dunshee got Chester, Miami’s center fielder, to pop up to left to end the inning.

Wake had a chance to respond in the 7th inning, drawing three two-out walks from Gavin Sheets, Ben Breazeale, and Johnny Aiello to load the bases for Bruce Steel before Steel struck out on three pitches, watching the third strike fastball go straight down the middle of the plate.

Closer Griffin Roberts came in for the 8th inning looking for a six-out save to send the Deacs to the semifinals on Saturday. Roberts got the first batter to fly out to right before walking Ruiz on a full count. A sharply hit triple down the left field line scored Ruiz and tied the game up, blowing the save for the Deacs. The go-ahead run for Miami scored on a wild pitch to put the Canes up 3-2. Roberts bounced back and got a strikeout for the second out before issuing another walk with two outs.

After a passed ball advanced the runner to second, Roberts induced a ground ball to second on a full count to get out of the inning.

The Canes left in their reliever Feliz for the 8th despite entering the inning with 49 pitches. After Feliz got a ground out he issued back-to-back walks to put two on with one out and was pulled. Jake Mueller was up next for Wake but struck out looking on a full count before Fairchild grounded out to short to end the inning.

Roberts returned to the mound for the 9th inning for the Deacs and got two quick outs before issuing a walk and allowing a single to put runners on the corners with two outs with Ruiz back up. Ruiz drilled the first pitch he saw to the left field wall, scoring two and putting Miami up 5-2.

Following a ground out to third for the first out, Breazeale walked before Aiello struck out for the second out of the inning. Steel singled to left to extend the game and bring the tying run up in Keegan Maronpot who also walked on a 3-2 count to load the bases with Logan Harvey up. Ultimately, Nick DiPonzio came on as a pinch hitter but hit Maronpot advancing to second on a ground ball, and the Deacs fell 5-2.

The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday and Wake is almost certain to host a regional and be paired with a national seed if they advance to the Super Regionals.