WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Tommy Hawke, Danny Corona and Justin Johnson each hit a home run to help Wake Forest beat Alabama 5-4 Saturday in Game 1 of the Winston-Salem Super Regional.
Rhett Lowder improved to 15-0 this season for Wake Forest (51-10). The 6-foot-4 right-hander allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. Sean Sullivan (3) had struck out seven batters over 2 2/3 innings of relief, giving up two hits, including a solo shot by Caden Rose — his second home run of the game — in the top of the eighth that capped the scoring.
Wake Forest can advance to the College World Series with a win Sunday over the Crimson Tide (43-20) in Game 2.
After Marek Houston struck out and Hawke grounded out to lead off the bottom of the fifth, Corona hit a tiebreaking home run and Brock Wilken reached on an error to lead off the sixth and later scored on a two-out single by Adam Cecere to give the Demon Deacons a 5-3 lead.
Hawke homered to lead off the bottom of the first and Johnson did the same in the second before Pierce Bennett scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
Rose got Alabama on the scoreboard with a homer in the top of the third and, after Dominic Tamez drew a two-out walk in the fourth, Colby Shelton hit a two-run shot in the fifth to make it 3-3.
First pitch was delayed by more than two hours due to a medical situation unrelated to the game at David F. Couch Ballpark.