Deacs Blast Past USC in Series Finale, 18-5
Feb. 26, 2017

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Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeBaseball)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Wake Forest baseball offense kept up its torrid pace in a series-clinching 18-5 victory over Southern Cal at David F. Couch Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.

The win was head coach Tom Walter's 200th at the helm of the Demon Deacons (4-4). He also improves to 628-533 all-time as a head coach.

Gavin Sheets went 3-for-3 at the plate with a double, walk and four RBIs. He finishes the weekend series with a .769 average (10-for-13) with two doubles, three homers, 14 RBIs and eight runs scored.

Jake Mueller added three hits and scored four runs, while Stuart Fairchild and Bruce Steel each homered.

Wake Forest took advantage of an 11-run third inning in which 15 Deacons came to bat and totaled eight hits, including five doubles. That mark is tied for the fifth-highest scoring inning in program history.

The Trojans (5-2) took all the momentum to start the game, when David Edson walked and Corey Dempster and Lars Nootbaar hit back-to-back homers, but Wake Forest starter Donnie Sellers settled in to record nine straight outs and let the Deacon offense go to work.

Sheets had an RBI single in the bottom of the first to cut the margin to 3-1, then Steel hit a line-drive blast over the left-field wall put Wake Forest in front, 4-3.

The 11-run third inning featured - in order - a Johnny Aiello two-run double, Keegan Maronpot RBI, Nick DiPonzio RBI bunt single, Steel RBI single, Jonathan Pryor RBI double, Mueller RBI single, Sheets three-run double and Ben Breazeale RBI double as the lead increased from 4-3 to 15-3.

Wake Forest capped off its scoring with a Breazeale sacrifice fly in the fifth and Fairchild two-run longball in the seventh.

Sellers finished with five strikeouts, allowing just four hits and a walk in 5.2 innings to earn the win. Holden White, Chris Farish (four strikeouts) and Griffin Roberts all had scoreless outings in relief.

• After missing the entire 2016 season with a torn ligament in his thumb and opening weekend with a pulled oblique, Bruce Steel tallied his first two hits since 2017 on Sunday.
• First, he drilled a go-ahead three-run homer, the second of his career, in the second inning. He added an RBI single during the 11-run third inning.
• The redshirt sophomore has also walked four times, good for a .500 on-base percentage.

• Wake Forest's 42 runs in the series are most in a three-game set since scoring 52 against Maryland in 2002. The Deacs scored 40 at Virginia Tech a year ago. Wake Forest also scored 42 runs in three games against High Point in 2004.
• The 10 home runs in the series ranks tied for second in program history. The Deacs hit 13 in that same 2002 series against the Terrapins.

• Wake Forest continues its nine-game homestand on Tuesday, playing host to Davidson at 6 p.m.



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