100 Percent Cotten
March 25, 2007
Diamond in the Rough
Here's hoping Wake Forest's recent win over N.C. State at The Hook will kick start the Deacs for the remainder of the season. It was the kind of win that has watershed potential.
The Deacs had a formidable task in front of them on Wolfpack Saturday. After booting Friday's game in extra innings, Wake had lost four straight ACC dates and was alone at the bottom of the Atlantic - literally, 2-5 and looking straight up at the five other teams in its division of the league. And Saturday's starter for the Wolfies was former hoopster Andrew Brackman, 6'8" and one of the best in the nation who sported a 4-1 record and a gaudy reputation.
And then came the fifth inning.
The first seven Deacon hitters of the inning all did, the first four hitting for the cycle, as Wake tallied eight runs in the frame and chased Brackman back to Raleigh with just his second loss of the season.
"I think after [Friday] we had a chip on our shoulder," said Allen Dykstra, last season's ACC Rookie of the Year who collected his league leading 10th homer of the season and drove in a career high six runs. "We had a little talk about it. We had something to prove."
What Wake proved is that it can.
It would have been easy to fold up with Brackman on the mound and try to think of a way to win on Sunday to avoid a second straight ACC sweep. Instead, the Deacs let their bats out, their hair down and rolled over the Pack for a 16-3 victory. The Deacons piled up a season high19 hits on the way to a season best total of runs.
Dykstra was scary. He had a homer and two doubles and again is starting to look 7'5" to opposing pitchers. He's big enough to carry this team, and it looks he and his bat just might.
New Look Deacs
For the second year in a row Skip Prosser's Deacs will have a distinctively different exterior when they hit the hardwood come October. With Joe Dukes and Casey Crawford deciding to transfer, the Deacs could have as many as five new faces on an already young team.
Indiana's Jeff Teague will be one of them. The Indianapolis combo-guard has already signed. The spring signing period is soon to come. Depending on the number of newcomers and where they come from, the Deacon roster could again have as many as eleven freshmen and sophomores.
As I walked across campus the other day I noticed in the distance a hulky figure coming my way with a decided stiff-legged limp. I soon recognized Jon Abbate who had tweaked a stubborn hamstring running for professional scouts on Wake's Pro Day.
Jon needs a transplant if you ask me. That hamstring has bothered him now for two years and hasn't allowed him to run well yet for those who would soon be his employer.
"I guess they'll have to go by game film," Jon told me.
Now that I think about it, that might be a good thing.
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