#ACCBase Championship: Fischer Leads Wake Forest Over NC State

May 24, 2012

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) - Sophomore Jack Fischer (5-4) threw a career-high eight-plus innings to lead seventh-seeded Wake Forest (33-23) to a 7-3 victory over third-seeded NC State (39-16) Thursday night as the 2012 ACC Tournament wrapped up its second day.

Fischer, making only the fifth start of his college career, dominated after surrendering a home run to Trea Turner on the first pitch of the game. The home run was Turner's fourth of the season.

Wake caught up in the bottom of second. Carlos Lopez was hit by a pitch and Charlie Morgan singled. Lopez advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored when Brett Armour lined a two-out single, tying the game at 1-1.

State regained the lead in the third, when singles by Turner, Danny Canela and Ryan Mathews made it a 2-1 game.

The Deacons broke open the game in an unusual third inning. Conor Keniry led off with a walk and came all the way around on three wild pitches by starter Anthony Tzamtzis (5-5), the last of which prompted the Wolfpack to replace him with D.J. Thomas.

Tzamtzis has been bothered by a blister in recent weeks, but State coach Elliott Avent and his staff thought he could work around the injury.

Mark Rhine greeted Thomas with a bad-hop single, which left runners on first and second.

Pinch hitter Grant Shambley lined a double into left field, driving in two runs. Shambley was thrown out trying to advance to third on the hit.

Wake coach Tom Walter called Shambley's hit "huge. He fell behind in the count but battled back and put a great swing on a breaking ball."

Turner led off the top of the fifth with a double. He advanced to third on a ground out, but Fischer dug deep and struck out Canela and retired Mathews on a weak grounder.

Wake extended its lead in the fifth. Mac Williamson singled, went to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Charlie Morgan, who advanced to second on a throwing error to the plate by center fielder Jake Fincher.

Dillon Frye relieved Thomas at this point. A passed ball, two walks and another wild pitch resulted in another run.

Ryan Wilkins replaced Frye with runners on second and third and a 2-1 count on Brett Armour. Wilkins struck out Armour on two pitches, but the damage had been done.

Fischer controlled the middle portion of the game, retiring 10 consecutive batters between Turner's fifth-inning double and Canela's one-out double in the eighth.

Fischer says his goal is to "get ahead in the count and let the batters get themselves out. Let my defense work behind me."

Turner said that Fischer used the Wolfpack hitters' aggressiveness against them, commanding his off-speed stuff and inducing State to chase balls out of the zone.

State settled down defensively and turned double plays in the sixth and seventh innings behind Wilkins.

Wake added to its lead in the eighth off Chris Overman, State's fifth pitcher. Mark Rhine led off the inning with a single, stole second, was bunted to third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Evan Stephens.

Fischer tired in the ninth, allowing singles to Andrew Ciencin and Brett Austin. John McLeod relieved Fischer and got pinch hitter Logan Ratledge to ground into a double play, scoring State's third run but ending the rally.

Wake Forest closer Michael Dimock relieved McLeod and struck out Turner to end the game.

Fischer was the story of the game, according to Walter. "He had four pitches working, was pitching on both sides of the plate and threw a ton of ground balls."

Wake Forest, NC State, Miami and North Carolina are all 1-1 in Division B play, meaning all four are possibilities for Sunday's title game and a tie-breaker will be needed to decide things.

Wake Forest plays Miami Friday night at 7 p.m., while NC State has Friday off before meeting North Carolina Saturday at 7p.m.