Deacs Pound N.C. State 11-6 in ACC Tourney Play

May 22, 1999

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Wake Forest inched a step closer to repeating as Atlantic Coast Conference champs Saturday afternoon, posting a pair of big innings in an 11-6 victory over North Carolina State in the tournament semifinals.

The win for the second-seeded Demon Deacons (43-13) tied the single-season school mark for wins in a season set last year. The team's 12th straight victory was also the program's longest streak since 1950.

"If you look around their team you don't see great player after great player after great player," N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said of the Demon Deacons, who posted their eighth straight ACC tourney win. "But the way they play together and fundamentally sound makes them a great ball club."

The loss ousted the sixth-seeded Wolfpack (37-23) from the double-elimination event as starter Ryan Steadham (2-5) couldn't hold down the ACC's top offensive club, allowing six earned runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.

The game started off on a positive note for the Wolfpack as leadoff hitter Brian Wright homered off Matt Briggs (5-0), but after N.C. State took a 4-2 lead, the Demon Deacons struck for four runs in the bottom of the third and four more two innings later.

"Perhaps the home run from the first batter gave us a little bit of a jolt," said Wake Forest coach George Greer. "It just kind of said, OK, here we are, let's go, we've got 27 tough outs."'

Danny Borrell was the hitting star for the Demon Deacons, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Borrell led off the fifth with his 19th homer of the season - a liner into the right field stands.

"It seemed like we were right on the ball the whole day," Borrell said of Wake's 13-hit attack.

Briggs worked eight innings - the longest outing of his career - giving Wake Forest yet another solid start on the mound.

"That exactly what we wanted from him," Greer said of Briggs. "He executed our game plan - except for a couple of pitches - perfectly. He commanded the outside part of the plate against their left-handers and that was a key for us."

AP Sports Writer

ACC Baseball Tournament - Game 13 Quotes

Wake Forest Head Coach George Greer
"I thought we came out ready to play, but perhaps (Brian) Wright's home run in the first inning gave us a bit of a jolt. We came back. The key for us is always Scott Daeley and Jason Aquilante getting on ahead of Jon Palmieri. If they can get on base we're confident that Palmieri is going to do the job for us."

"I thought Matthew (Briggs) pitched a great game. We got exactly what we wanted from him. He executed our game plan, except for a couple of pitches, perfectly. He had command of the of the outside part of the plate against the left handers and that was the key for us. His sinker was working very well and he was able to throw right handed batters away, throw the slider and get them to hit ground balls."

"Basically what we've done throughout the whole season is what we need to do to win ballgames. If we've needed great defense and a well pitched game we've gotten it. If we've needed to pound and outslug somebody we've done that. It gives our pitching staff a lot of confidence knowing that we can score runs."

North Carolina State Head Coach Elliot Avent
"Coming into the game we felt good. Even though both teams were deep into their bullpens we felt we had a deeper pen than Wake Forest. Wake Forest is playing awfully, awfully well. They are very opportunistic. We got the quick lead there in the first with Brian Wright's home run. Then they hit the flare to left and the flare to right, (Ryan) Steadham then walks a guy on a 3-2 pitch. The next thing you know it's 2-1. We come right back with Craig Lee's big triple to make it 4-2. At that point I didn't think we could be beat. You have to give Wake Forest a lot of credit."

"They are a very, very good baseball team. They play very well together. It seems like they take advantage of every break they're given. They flared a couple in the first inning and took care of that. We didn't make the plays. I think the key for us was keeping the lead and getting into their bullpen. Once Briggs had the lead he pitched outstanding. He didn't give us the chance to get back into the ball game."



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