Liberty Contest Rescheduled For Monday April 23 at 3:00 p.m.

Feb. 13, 2001

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February 14
Wake Forest (3-0) 2:30 pm
vs. Liberty (0-0) Hooks Stadium

Deacons Hosts Liberty in Mid-Week Tilt
24th-ranked Wake Forest faces Liberty on Wednesday at Hooks Stadium. Wake Forest is coming off its opening weekend with an unblemished 3-0 record after defeating James Madison on Friday and Penn State on Saturday and Sunday. The Flames travel south to Winston-Salem for their season opener. First pitch is at 2:30.

WFU-LU: The Series History
Wake Forest owns a 15-3-1 lead in the all-time series with Liberty. Last season, the Deacons and Flames met three times with Wake Forest taking two of three, including a matchup in the NCAA Subregional in Columbia, S.C., that eliminated the Flames from the tournament.

Bush Chosen ACC Pitcher of the Week
Junior closer Dave Bush was virtually unhittable over the weekend and earned ACC Pitcher of the Week honors after allowing just one hit to the 12 batters he faced. He struck out five batters in 3.2 innings over three appearances and earned his first save of the season against Penn State on Sunday.

Over the summer, Bush overwhelmed the highly-regarded competition in the Cape Cod League and was named to the league's All-Star team that played at Fenway Park against a Team USA select team. Sullivan Burns the Flames

In last year's NCAA Subregional game against Liberty, then-junior Cory Sullivan went three-for-three with a double. The Preseason All-American has a history of hitting Liberty pitching. In three games last year, Sullivan hit .615 (8-of-13) against the Flames with three doubles.

Sullivan is already off to a hot start batting .500 in 12 at bats with a home run and three RBI.

The Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America named Sullivan a second team preseason All-American. Sullivan was a third team selection last year after batting .374 last year with nine home runs and 50 RBI as the team's leadoff hitter.

Sullivan's 102 hits were the third-highest single season total in Wake Forest history.

Greer Begins 14th Season At WFU
Head Coach George Greer enters his 14th season at Wake Forest with a career record of 474-294-3, the most wins by any Deacon coach in history, regardless of sport.

Greer, who coached his 1,000th Division I game last season in the NCAA Tournament, has two major milestones within reach. The 1969 graduate of Connecticut needs 20 wins to reach the 600-win plateau for his career. Greer is 26 wins short of reaching 500 wins at Wake Forest. Deacons Ranked 24th By Baseball America

After being omitted from the top 25 in all three polls to start the year, Wake Forest wasted no time in moving back into the rankings.

After starting 3-0 with wins over defending Colonial champion James Madison and defending Big Ten champion Penn State, Wake Forest jumped to No. 24 in the Baseball America poll and is knocking on the door in the two other major polls, No. 26 in USA Today/ESPN and No. 28 in Collegiate Baseball.

Wake To Face Nation's Best
If polls are any indication, the Demon Deacons will again have one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

Six of Wake Forest's opponents are ranked in Baseball America's Top 25, including two teams on this weekend's slate.

The 2001 schedule also includes a number of reigning conference champions. Penn State captured the Big Ten title last season. East Carolina and James Madison, two teams who will visit Hooks Stadium this year, shared the Colonial crown in 2000.

Finally, to be the best you have to beat the best. Wake Forest will play 12 of last year's NCAA tournament teams. Of the scheduled 56 games, 27 are against 2000 NCAA Tournament qualifiers.

Freshman Class Making Early Impact
It hasn't taken long for the Class of 2004 to make its presence felt. Five freshmen have been instrumental in Wake Forest's early success.

All three freshmen batters have been productive. Jamie D'Antona, Josh Hansen and Steve LeFaivre have combined to hit .542 (13-of-24) with seven doubles, a home run and eight RBI.

Doug Riepe also saw action as a late-inning defensive replacement on Saturday against Penn State.

On the hill, Adam Hanson and Kyle Sleeth have a combined 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA in 11.2 innings to go with eight strikeouts against just one walk.

Wake Forest Coming Through In The Clutch
The Demon Deacons are hoping good habits are hard to break because already they're already in the habit of driving in runs in clutch situations.

As a team, Wake Forest is hitting a solid .355 with runners on base (22-of-62) and an even more impressive .385 (15-of-39) with runners in scoring position.

Perhaps Wake Forest most clutch of hit of the year wasn't even a hit. Matt Price's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning was the game-winning RBI in Wake Forest's 3-2 comeback win against Penn State on Sunday.

Deacons Picked to Finish Fourth in the ACC
The Atlantic Coast Conference's nine coaches have predicted Wake Forest to finish fourth in the league in the preseason coaches poll. Georgia Tech was the unanimous top pick to win the conference championship in 2001. Wake Forest, with 55 points, finished behind Clemson and Florida State, second and third, respectively. D'Antona Dents the Record Book

Freshman first baseman Jamie D'Antona waited one game before putting his name into the Wake Forest record book but by Saturday, he couldn't wait any longer.

D'Antona hammered three doubles, tying a school record held by six players. It has been five years since anyone had performed the feat, most recently by Jon Palmieri in 1997.

Siemon Returns As Ace of Rotation
Senior Scott Siemon will be the team's number one starter this season after a stellar junior campaign in which he was named first team All-ACC. Siemon was 11-2 last year with a 2.68 ERA in just over 100 innings of work.

The West Palm Beach, Fla., native picked up the win on opening day against James Madison despite allowing five James Madison runs in six innings.

He currently ranks fourth on the all-time wins chart at Wake Forest with 24. If Siemon can equal his 11 from last season, he would tie Siemon for first place with former teammate John Hendricks.

Quite a Quintet
In Baseball America's College Preview, four Demon Deacons were listed among the 50 best players in their class. Ben Clayton checked in at No. 23 among sophomores. Cory Sullivan was ranked as the nation's 38th best senior while Scott Siemon was listed at No. 46. The publication calls Kyle Sleeth and Jamie D'Antona the country's 42nd and 50th-best newcomers.

Taking One For the Team
Senior Jason Aquilante is used to taking one for the team. After all, he is the school record holder in hit by pitches, a mark he set last season.

Now, he's looking at taking one for the team by changing positions. Voted last year as the ACC's best defensive second baseman, Aquilante played the entire opening weekend behind the dish and could see the majority of his time there during the 2001 campaign.

With the departure of All-ACC catcher Dan Conway to the Colorado Rockies organization, the Demon Deacons are left with very little experience at catcher.

Wake Forest has three newcomers in JC transfer Stephen Ghutzman and true freshmen Josh Hansen and Ryder Mathias who will battle for time. The most experienced players at the position are sophomores Hank Hornsby and Jon Klopacs who combined to play in nine games last season.

Blue Streak
With Aquilante's move to catcher, the vacancy at second base has been filled by sophomore Nick Blue.

Blue appeared in 22 games last year and started just one but he made the most of his opportunities by batting .364 and did not commit an error in the field.

The coaching staff loves Blue's speed on the basepaths and his range at second base. Last Time Out

Wake Forest raised the curtain on the 2001 campaign in grand fashion by taking all three games over the weekend with a 12-5 win on Friday against James Madison and wins on Saturday and Sunday against Penn State.

Senior Scott Siemon picked up the win in Friday's game, pushing him into a tie for fourth place on the all-time wins chart with 24.

On Saturday, Cory Sullivan went 4-for-5 with a home run, Jamie D'Antona doubled three times and starter Kyle Sleeth limited the Lions to just two hits over six innings to lead Wake Forest.

The Deacons came from one run down to win on Matt Price's eighth inning sacrifice fly. Closer Dave Bush was perfect in the ninth and recorded his first save of the season.

Up Next: Deep In the Heart Of Texas
Following the one-game set with Liberty, Wake will travel to Houston, Texas for a tournament at Rice University February 16-18. Wake Forest will play No. 16 Central Florida on Friday, tournament host and top-ranked Rice on Saturday before closing out the trip with Purdue on Sunday afternoon.

While in the Bayou City, Wake Forest will face two familiar foes. Last year, the Demon Deacons played both Rice and Central Florida at the ACC-Disney Blast in Orlando, Florida.

The Deacons dropped to 1-1 on the year after losing to UCF 5-4 but returned the next day to defeat Rice 2-1. The game marked the Wake Forest debut for Ben Clayton who turned in a tremendous six-inning performance without allowing a run.

Wake-Rice Game To Be Aired On Internet
Saturday's contest against Rice will be broadcast locally in the Houston area on KTRU 91.7 FM and on the internet at www.ktru.org. Jose Luis Cubria and Derek Gosnay will call the action live from Rice's Reckling Park.

Wake Forest On the Airwaves
The Wake Forest/ISP Sports Radio Network will air at least nine regular season games including the entire Virginia, Georgia Tech and NC State series. Plus, Stan Cotten will be there to call the ACC and NCAA Tournaments as the Deacon make their march through the postseason.

Deacons on the Tube
The entire Georgia Tech series in Atlanta will be televised on a regional basis. Fox Sports South will carry the Friday and Sunday games of the Georgia Tech series in Atlanta April 13 and 15. The ACC Network will air the Saturday game of that series live from Georgia Tech's Russ Chandler Stadium.

 

 

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