Wake Baseball Faces East Carolina In Battle Of Nationally-Ranked Teams

March 6, 2001

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Game 13 #22 Wake Forest (10-2) at Hooks Stadium vs. #17 East Carolina (13-1)

March 7 vs. East Carolina (2:30 p.m.)

Radio: Pirate Radio Network
Cybercast: www.gopirates.com

Wake Forest (10-2) continues its homestand with its toughest test since travelling to Houston to face No. 1 Rice. The 17th-ranked East Carolina Pirates (13-1) sail down I-40 for a Wednesday matinee against Wake.

Wake Forest is riding a six-game winning streak with victories over Charlotte, Virginia Tech, Liberty, High Point and New Orleans.

ECU began its season with a perfect 13-0 mark before having its bubble burst against Delaware in extra innings on Sunday.

Nonetheless, the game provides both teams with a major test before beginning conference action.

Pair of Aces
Both teams will be throwing their number one pitcher in the contest. Senior Scott Siemon (1-0, 5.84) will pitch for the first time since February 16. He has been slated to start a twice since then but Siemon has gone 0-2 against Mother Nature.

For the Pirates, senior Foye Minton (4-0, 3.12) gets the call. Minton has had success in his four years against Wake Forest. He has started twice against the Deacons, three appearances overall, with a 2.61 ERA in 10.1 innings. (more on pitching the pitching matchup later in this release)

... And We're Back
After a pair of wins against New Orleans, a 2000 NCAA regional team, over the weekend, the Demon Deacons were rewarded with a return to the top 25 in two of the three major polls.

Baseball America lists the Deacons at No. 22 while the ESPN/USA Today poll ranks Wake Forest 25th. Collegiate Baseball has the Deacons on the outside looking in at No. 28.

No One Comes Into Our House
The Demon Deacons are right in the middle of a nine-game homestand that began last week with an 11-3 win over High Point. The momentum continued to build over the weekend with a pair of wins over New Orleans.

The confines of Hooks Stadium have been very friendly as the Deacons are off to an 8-0 start at home. The homestand continues this weekend with the ACC opening series against Duke.

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

Since the beginning of the 1998 season, the Deacons are 74-20 (.787) at Hooks Stadium.

As a team, Wake is hitting .347 with a 3.00 ERA at Hooks. Eight Wake Forest players are batting better than .300 in their own backyard.

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 12-game hitting streak entering the ECU game. 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. His six doubles are second-best in the ACC.

Josh Hansen and Steve LeFaivre have shared time at the designated hitter position, typically batting third in the lineup, at a.320 clip (16-of-50). They have combined for two home runs, 11 RBI, four doubles. Hansen is second on the team with a .645 slugging percentage.

The rookie talent is also on the mound where Kyle Sleeth has started four games with a 3-1 record and a 3.09 ERA. His wins came against Penn State, Liberty and New Orleans, three 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 seven appearances with a 1.98 ERA through 13.2 IP.

Burning Bush
Junior closer Dave Bush has been on fire to start the season. Before last weekend, his ERA was a near-perfect 0.69 ERA through eight appearances with three saves.

But, Bush proved to be human against UNO giving up four earned runs in five innings of work in two games. He saw his ERA ?balloon? to 2.50, still an outstanding mark, good for seventh in the ACC.

Bush did set a new career-best for strikeouts, with eight against UNO on Saturday. He leads the ACC with 26 K's.

Earlier in the year, Bush enjoyed a streak of four outings, spanning 6.1 innings, without allowing a hit. On February 12, Bush was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week.

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.

Bush In The Wake Forest Record Books
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 81 times in a Deacon uniform entering the ECU game, third place in Wake Forest history. He is six appearances away from surpassing Frank Humber for number one all-time.

Meanwhile, Bush is also climbing the all-time saves chart. He has 13 career saves, good for fourth place. Keith Ksansnak holds the all-time lead with 17.

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.

The ECU game on the web at gopirates.com.

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.

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.



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