Wake Forest Baseball, Duke Begin ACC Play
March 8, 2001
#22 Wake Forest (11-2) at Hooks Stadium
March 9 vs. Duke (3:00 p.m.)
Deacons Open ACC Play With Blue Devils
The Deacons are red hot as of late, winning seven straight contests. Wake's last loss came in Houston to Purdue on February 18.
The Blue Devils travel to Winston-Salem with a 7-9 record having won four of their last five.
Deacons-Devils: The Series History
The current group of Wake Forest players have never lost to the Blue Devils, regardless of site.
Since 1988, the beginning of the George Greer era, the Deacons are 14-3 at home against the Blue Devils.
Last season, Wake Forest swept the Devils in a three-game series held in Durham. The Deacons won 3-2, 12-3 and 8-6. Current Duke assistant and former Wake pitcher Matt Briggs earned a win against the Devils last season in a WFU uniform.
... And We're Back
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.
The Deacons could improve their standing after posting an 8-7 win over 17th-ranked East Carolina on Wednesday.
No One Comes Into Our House
The confines of Hooks Stadium have been very friendly as the Deacons are off to a 9-0 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 75-20 (.789) at Hooks Stadium.
First baseman Jamie D'Antona has begun his college career on a 13-game hitting streak entering the Duke 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. 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 .339 clip (19-of-56). They have combined for three home runs, 14 RBI, four doubles. Hansen leads Wake with a .750 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.
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
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
Wake's next radio game will be March 14 at VCU.
Remember This Name
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.
Greer Enters 14th Season At Wake Forest
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 12 wins to reach the 600-win plateau for his career. Greer is 18 wins away of 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.
Siemon Suffers Shoulder Injury
Siemon pitched just one inning against the Pirates, without allowing a hit, before having to leave the game.
The loss could be a big one for the Deacons. Siemon had 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. He currently ranks fourth on the all-time wins chart at Wake Forest with 24.
The Wake Forest pitching rotation becomes extremely young as sophomore Ben Clayton and freshman Kyle Sleeth will carry the load. The coaching staff has not decided who will take Siemon's place in the rotation.
Possible candidates would include junior Ryan Lewis, who started eight
games as a freshman at Providence, sophomore Ryan Braun and junior Brad
Comer, who was a part-time starter in 2000. The wild card of the group,
however, would be senior center fielder Cory Sullivan. Sullivan made
one appearnce on the mound last year, throwing one inning against Pace
on March 13.
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