Baseball Hosts New Orleans

March 1, 2001

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Games 11-13
Wake Forest (8-2) at Hooks Stadium
vs. New Orleans (6-4)

March 2 vs. New Orleans (2:30 p.m.)
March 3 vs. New Orleans (1:30 p.m.)
March 4 vs. New Orleans (1:30 p.m.)

Deacons Set to Host New Orleans
Wake Forest (8-2) opens a three-game set on Friday with New Orleans (6-4), the regular season Sun Belt Champion and a NCAA Regional qualifier last year.

The Demon Deacons come into the series on a four-game winning streak including wins over Charlotte, Virginia Tech, Liberty and High Point.

The Privateers have proven to be a bit of a mystery team having defeating then-No. 12 Notre Dame but have since lost three of their last five.

No One Comes Into Our House ...
The Demon Deacons are in the midst of a nine-game homestand that began on Tuesday with an 11-3 win over High Point.

During this stretch, Wake Forest will see New Orleans, East Carolina, Duke and Appalachian State visit the friendly confines of Hooks Stadium.

The Deacons are off to a 6-0 start at home and are hitting .363 as a team with a 2.50 ERA at Hooks. Nine Wake Forest hitters are batting better than .300 in their own backyard.

Wake Forest has a long way to go before matching a pair of 17-game winning streaks that last through portions of the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

Since the beginning of the 1998 season, the Deacons are 72-20 (.783) at Hooks Stadium.

The New Guys
It hasn't taken long for the Class of 2004 to make its presence felt. Several of the freshmen have been instrumental in Wake Forest's early success.

First baseman Jamie D'Antona has begun his college career on a ten-game hitting streak entering the UNO series. He has quickly become one of the most dangerous threats in the Deacon order, leading or tying for the team lead in average, hits, multi-hit games, doubles, home runs, runs batted in and on-base percentage. D'Antona's six doubles lead the ACC.

Josh Hansen and Steve LeFaivre have shared time at the designated hitter position, typically batting third in the lineup, at a.366 clip (15-of-41). They have combined for two home runs, 11 RBI, four doubles. Hansen leads the team with a .739 slugging percentage.

The rookie talent is also on the mound where Kyle Sleeth has started three games with a 2-1 record and a 3.12 ERA. His wins came against Penn State and Liberty, two tournament teams last year. The loss was a 3-2 decision at top-ranked Rice.

Adam Hanson has been outstanding in the early going in a setup role for closer Dave Bush. Hanson has six appearances with a 1.54 ERA through 11.2 innings.

Greer Enters 14th Season At Wake Forest
Head Coach George Greer enters his 14th season at Wake Forest with a career record of 479-296-3, 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 15 wins to reach the 600-win plateau for his career. Greer is 21 away from reaching 500 wins at Wake Forest.

He is tied for sixth all-time for wins by ACC coaches.

Greer is the school's 23rd coach in the program's 87 season history. Greer's 14 year tenure is the longest of any prior Wake Forest baseball coach, ahead of John Caddell's 13 years from 1926-39.

The D'Antona 500
He's not quite hitting .500 but he's close. Freshman first baseman Jamie D'Antona, hitting .421 (16-of-38) through ten games.

Already he's dented the record books, hammering three doubles in the second game of the season, tying a school record held by six players.

It has been five years since anyone had performed the feat, most recently by Wake Forest's all-time doubles leader, Jon Palmieri, in 1997.

Since then, D'Antona has continued to be a force, with 16 hits and a .737 slugging percentage.

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 wins from last season, he would tie first place with John Hendricks.

Remember This Name
Cory Sullivan. The preseason All-American is already off to a solid start batting .333 in 28 at bats with a home run and six RBI. He has reached base in all ten games this season.

He was voted a second team preseason All-American by the NCBWA after being a third team selection last year after batting .374 last year with nine home runs and 50 RBI as the team's leadoff hitter. His 102 were the third-highest total in school history.

Burning Bush
Junior closer Dave Bush is on fire to start the season. He has a near-perfect 0.69 ERA through eight appearances with three saves.

He has yielding just one run on six hits with 13 strikeouts through 13.0 innings of work. In his last four outings, spanning 6.1 innings, Bush has even allowed a hit. On February 12, Bush was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week.

Bush led the team with 36 appearances last season and is well on his way to becoming Wake Forest's all-time leader in that category. He has taken the hill 79 times in a Deacon uniform entering the weekend, tied for third place in Wake Forest history with John Hendricks. He is eight appearances away from surpassing Frank Humber for number one all-time.

Meanwhile, Bush is also climbing the all-time saves chart. He has 12 career saves, tied for fifth place. Keith Ksansnak holds the all-time lead with 17.

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.

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 call the ACC and NCAA Tournaments as the Demon Deacons 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.

Game times for the series are as follows: Friday - 7:00 p.m., Saturday - 1:00 p.m., Sunday - 1:00 p.m.

The Saturday March 30 game at Florida State will be on the Sunshine Network at 7:00 p.m.

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.

Deacons Picked to Finish Fourth in the ACC
The ACC's nine coaches have predicted Wake Forest to finish fourth in the league in their preseason poll. Georgia Tech was the unanimous pick to win the league in 2001. Wake Forest, with 55 points, finished behind Clemson and FSU , second and third, respectively.

Wake Forest finished last season in fourth place in the conference with a 14-10 record.

Up Next: Deacons Continue Long Homestand
Wake Forest will continue its longest homestand of the season with 19th-ranked and East Carolina on Tuesday March 6. The Pirates have started their season with a 10-0 mark.

The ACC season begins next weekend. The Demon Deacons open with Duke at Hooks Stadium on March 9-11. Wake Forest ends its nine-game home stretch against Appalachian State on March 13.

 

 

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