The Wake Forest baseball team is bringing in 11 freshmen as part of the 2017 signing class.
Team Black defeated Team Gold by a 3-1 margin in the fall intrasquad competition.
The Demon Deacons will play 29 home games, and open the season in Houston on Feb. 17.
After being drafted in June, Parker Dunshee and Chris Farish decided to delay their pro careers and return to Wake Forest.
Wake Forest graduating seniors Garrett Kelly and Aaron Fossas signed with the Twins and Reds, respectively.
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The Demon Deacons opened NCAA Tournament play by taking down Minnesota, 5-3, to advance into the winner's bracket.
The Demon Deacons kept ACC Championship hopes alive with a 10-9 victory over No. 7-ranked Virginia in pool play.
The Demon Deacons fell to No. 4-ranked Louisville, 9-4, after honoring six seniors before the game.
The Cardinals claimed the series-opening pitchers' duel from the Demon Deacons, 3-1.
Wake Forest University held its annual Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 16.
The Demon Deacons are coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016, including an opening-round win over Minnesota after receiving an at-large bid to the College Station Regional.
Walter has helped 18 players get drafted or sign pro contracts over the last five years and led the Demon Deacons to five straight winning seasons for the first time since Wake Forest posted seven straight from 1997-2003. Those pro Deacons are highlighted by big leaguers Mac Williamson (Giants) and Tim Cooney (Cardinals), and Will Craig, the 22nd overall pick in the first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016.
Walter is the only active head coach in the country to lead three different programs to the NCAA Division I Tournament, becoming just the seventh coach all-time to do so. He joins the ranks of Larry Cochell, Augie Garrido, Sunny Golloway, Andy Lopez, Ron Polk and Jack Stallings.
While at Wake Forest, Walter has overseen the development of 2016 National Player of the Year Will Craig, All-America selections Craig, Nate Mondou and Stuart Fairchild, as well as a total of 11 All-ACC selections. Wake Forest had five All-ACC picks in 2016, the program's most since 2002.
Walter also has experience working with USA Baseball, spending time in the summer of 2016 as a manager of the Stars team at the 17U National Team Development Program.
To Walter and the coaching staff, development off the field is equally as important as on the field. All of the program's seniors have graduated on time for five consecutive years, and the team has raised more than $100,000 for various charities including the ALS Association, JDRF, and the Vs. Cancer Foundation. The team has had 100 percent roster participation in community service for seven straight years, and also took a service trip to the Dominican Republic in 2012. Walter also selflessly donated a kidney to outfielder Kevin Jordan just days before the 2011 season opener. Jordan was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease and needed a transplant. Without hesitation, Walter gave Jordan one of his own, and in turn, gave Jordan an opportunity at a new life.
Also an accomplished fundraiser for his program, the recently-named David F. Couch Ballpark has undergone significant construction projects in six of Walter's seven seasons, including the construction of a $14 million player development center started in 2016. Previous renovations include a state-of-the-art weight room facility (2015), all-black chairback seating (2013), an 18' x 24' LED video board (2012), AstroTurf and a manual scoreboard (2011) and an indoor hitting facility (2010).
In addition to Williamson and Cooney in the Major Leagues, active professional players Walter coached at Wake Forest include Michael Dimock (AAA), Brian Holmes (AAA), Pat Blair (AA), Connor Kaden (A), Will Craig (A), Nate Mondou (A), Matt Pirro (A), Aaron Fossas (rookie), Garrett Kelly (rookie) and Joe Napolitano (rookie). 2016 draftees Parker Dunshee and Chris Farish elected to return to Wake Forest in 2017.
Competitive highlights in recent years include a three-game sweep over top-15 North Carolina and series win over No. 4 Florida State in 2016, Wake Forest's first-ever series win at Clemson in 2015, and a series victory over top-ranked and eventual NCAA runner-up Virginia in 2014.
Following the 2012 season, Wake Forest set a school record with six current players drafted in the MLB First Year Player Draft, led by Mac Williamson and Tim Cooney in the third round.
Walter was named head baseball coach at Wake Forest on June 16, 2009. Wrapping up his 20th year as a head coach, Walter has amassed an overall record of 624-529. His 500th-career win came at home against Clemson (2-1) on May 18, 2012, while win number 600 also came against Clemson on March 11, 2016. With 196 wins at Wake Forest, he enters 2017 as the third-winningest coach in program history, trailing only George Greer (608 wins in 16 years) and Marvin Crater (269 wins in 12 years).
Prior to coming to Wake Forest, Walter spent five seasons at New Orleans, where he helped the Privateers to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008. New Orleans also boasted one of the best offenses in college baseball under Walter. The Privateers set school records for home runs in both 2007 and 2008 with 97 round-trippers in '08. In 2008, the team also set school records in hits (743), runs (581) and RBIs (524). The offense, which ranked in the top 10 nationally in eight offensive categories throughout the year, helped UNO record its most wins (43) since 1996.
The Privateers recorded their second-consecutive trip to the postseason in 2008, becoming the only school in Louisiana to achieve back-to-back postseason bids in 2007 and 2008 and one of only 37 teams in the country to accomplish the feat. UNO finished the 2007 season with a 38-26 record, which included the school's first Sun Belt Tournament Championship since 1979. The Privateers knocked off regional-host Wichita State in the first game of the 2007 NCAA Regional. New Orleans combined to win 81 games in 2007 and 2008 and had 13 players sign professional contracts over the two seasons.
In 2006, Walter was able to guide the Privateers to a 30-28 record, despite having to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Walter re-located the team to Las Cruces, New Mexico for the fall semester. The team then moved to Mobile, Alabama, for the month of January and Westwego, Louisiana, for the months of February and March. The team finally returned to campus on March 21, 2006. Walter's players also had success in the classroom as all but one of his student-athletes who spent all four years at UNO graduated.
Walter came to New Orleans after a successful eight-year coaching stint at George Washington, which included leading the Colonials to the 2002 NCAA Tournament and an appearance in the Winston-Salem regional, which was hosted by Wake Forest.
Walter averaged 39 wins a season at GW and is the school's all-time wins leader with a 273-181 record. In the five seasons prior to Walter's arrival, the Colonials averaged 21.5 wins a year.
During his time at George Washington, 26 of Walter's players went on to play professionally. In 2002, six Colonials were taken in the MLB Draft, which marked the most players taken from the school in a single year.
While at GW, Walter also was the head coach for the Cotuit Kettlers of the Cape Cod Baseball League in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He led the Kettlers to the playoffs in '97. At Cotuit, Walter coached eight players who went on to the majors and 25 players who signed professional contracts. Included on some of his teams were big-leaguers Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Garrett Atkins.
Walter also was a head coach of the New Market (Va.) Rebels during the summer of 1994, where he led the team to the Shenandoah Valley League title.
Before going to GW, Walter spent two years as an assistant general manager with the Greensboro Bats. He performed various duties for the then-New York Yankees Class A affiliate.
Walter played his college baseball at Georgetown University and started all four seasons either behind the plate or in the outfield. He served as team captain in 1990 and 1991 and was named to the 1991 Big East Conference All-Academic Team.
Walter graduated from Georgetown in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in finance. He later went on to earn his MBA at George Washington in 1994, while serving as an assistant coach for the Colonials.
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