Deacons Begin ACC Play

March 9, 2000


The 20th ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons open ACC play this weekend with a three-game series at N.C. State. N.C. State enters the series with a record of 10-6, while Wake is currently 11-4. Wake is coming off an 8-1 defeat at the hands of the 23rd-ranked East Carolina Pirates on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Deacons defeated the Virginia Commonwealth Rams 13-3.


Wake Forest thrid baseman Corey Slavik, .532-5-28, continued to be on fire at the plate this week. Slavik has gone 5-for-9 with four RBI in two games so far this week. He also drove in 10 runs in four games last week and was named ACC Player of the Week and Oustanding Player of the Hormel Foods Classic in Minnesota for his efforts.

Junior DH/1B Danny Borrell, .350-5-24, is the power of the offense from his cleanup spot in the batting order. Borrell was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Hormel Classic as the designated hitter. In the two games Borrell was DH in the tournament, he was 3-for-8 with a home run and three RBI.

Wake Forest's junior middle infield combination of shortstop Chase Voshell, .333-1-15, and second baseman Jason Aquilante, .359-0-13, are mainstays in the lineup while junior Dan Conway, .309-4-20, has started all 15 games behind the plate.

The outfield is anchored in the middle by junior center fielder Cory Sullivan, .397-1-9, and in left field by junior Matt Price, .333-3-13. Righty Carlos Brackley, .276-1-4, lefties Ryan Johnson, .241-1-6 and Stephen Sullivan,.261-0-3 platoon in right field, while versatile sophomore Jamie Athas, .300-1-7, has seen time at DH, first base and second base.


Junior right-hander Scott Siemon (4-1, 2.77 ERA) will get the starting nod in the series opener on Friday. After pitching well (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K's) but suffering a tough loss in the season opener against defending national champion Miami, Siemon has rattled off four straight wins in his last four starts. He has held opponents to a .206 average while recording 28 K's to just six walks through five starts this season. Siemon, who was the top man out of the bullpen during the first half of 1999, now owns an 11-2 career record as a starting pitcher.

Junior southpaw Danny Borrell (1-0, 7.17 ERA) is scheduled to start the second game of the weekend on Saturday. Borrell struggled with his command during the early part of the 2000 season, but he picked up his first win of the season in his last outing against Minnesota. He has a proven track record as a successful starting pitcher -- he tossed a complete game in Wake Forest's 6-3 win over Florida State in the 1998 ACC Championship game.

Freshman lefty Ben Clayton (4-1, 2.00 ERA) will start the weekend's final game on Sunday. Clayton has been very impressive thus far this season, recording four wins in his five starts, including tossing six innings of shutout ball against 7th-ranked Rice in his collegiate debut. Clayton has surrendered six runs in 27.0 innings of work while registering 26 strikeouts against only 10 walks. Opponents are batting just .194 against the southpaw. For more information on Clayton or any other Wake Forest pitcher, please see his game-by-game statistics on the pages later in the packet.


N.C. State leads the all-time series with Wake Forest 82-39. The Deacons won three of the four meetings last season, including an 11-6 win in the ACC Tournament. In the last 10 meetings, the two teams are tied at five wins apiece. In games played at N.C. State, the Wolfpack holds a 37-11 advantage.


After scoring just nine runs and batting .215 as a team in the three-day season-opening tournament at Disney World, the Wake Forest offense jumped into high gear during the month of February and has carried that over into March. In the 12 games since the ACC/Disney Baseball Blast, Wake Forest is averaging 12.3 runs and 14.6 hits per game. The Demon Deacons have scored better than 10 runs in eight of those 12 games while outscoring their opponents 148-56 in the last 12 games.

For the season, Wake Forest is now batting .350 and the Demon Deacons are averaging 10.5 runs per game. Wake Forest has belted 22 home runs and has an impressive .586 team slugging percentage.


As Wake Forest has warmed up at the plate as a team, a number of individuals have also seen a rise in their batting averages since the opening weekend. No player, however, has been hotter than junior third baseman Corey Slavik in the past 12 games.

Slavik, who went 1-for-11 in the season opening tournament in Orlando, has gone 32-for-51 (.627) with five home runs and 28 RBI in 12 games since then. Slavik now leads the team in batting average (.532), hits (33) and runs scored (24).


Junior first baseman/DH Danny Borrell became the first Wake Forest player to hit for the cycle since the 1995 season with his performance in Wake Forest's 30-4 win over Davidson on Feb. 24. (Josh Itzoe hit for the cycle on Mar. 23, 1995 against Hartford). Borrell finished the afternoon with five hits in seven at bats, including one single, one double, one triple and two home runs. He had a career high seven RBI in the game.

For the season, Borrell is now batting .350 with five home runs and 24 RBI.


Freshman lefthander Ben Clayton has been extremely impressive in his first month in a Wake Forest uniform. Clayton made his collegiate debut in grand style, tossing six shutout innings in the Demon Deacons' 2-1 win over Rice. He allowed just one hit and one walk to the 7th-ranked Owls while striking out nine batters.

Clayton followed that performance with five strong innings (1 run on 2 hits) in a win over High Point and with six shutout innings in a 13-0 victory over Virginia Tech. For the season, Clayton has allowed six runs in 27.0 innings (2.00 ERA) while holding opponents to a .194 average. He has 26 strikeouts against 10 base on balls.


Senior Eric Schmitt, who missed the second half of the 1999 season with a small tear in his elbow ligaments. Surgery was not required, and a summer rehabilitation process allowed him to return to throwing off a mound last fall. Schmitt made his return to game action with two shutout innings against Campbell on Feb. 15. He has since picked up two wins in relief, and he has allowed just four runs in 13.1 innings of work. Schmitt now owns a career record of 19-2.


Wake Forest plated 30 runs on Feb. 24 against Davidson, tying the school record for most runs in a game (the Deacons also scored 30 runs in 1992 against Campbell and UNC Asheville and in 1979 against Campbell). In the game against the Wildcats, a 30-4 Wake Forest victory, the Demon Deacons scored 14 runs and tied a school-record with 14 base hits in the seventh inning when 12 consecutive batters reached base.


Wake Forest was well represented in Baseball America's 2000 College Preview issue. Junior Chase Voshell was named the preseason all-ACC shortstop and junior Danny Borrell was tabbed the all-ACC utility player. Additionally, Borrell was listed as the ACC's 5th best prospect for the upcoming 2000 Major League Baseball draft while Voshell was listed at the 6th best prospect.

Sophomore infielder Jamie Athas, a transfer from Providence, was named the ACC's 2nd-best newcomer, while second baseman Jason Aquilante and third baseman Corey Slavik were voted as the ACC's best defensive players at their positions.


The Demon Deacons were predicted to finish fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference race this spring, according to the league's nine head coaches. Head coach George Greer's squad earned 53 points in the poll, picking up one first place vote.

Florida State, with seven first place votes, was the top pick with 79 points. The Seminoles were followed by Georgia Tech (67) and Clemson (66). North Carolina (48) was picked fifth behind Wake Forest, followed by NC State and Virginia sixth (31), Maryland eighth (16) and Duke ninth (14).


Spanning the 1998 and 1999 seasons, Wake Forest has been impressive against ACC opponents. The Demon Deacons have 39 wins over ACC clubs (including regular season and tournament games), second among all ACC schools behind only Florida State's 46 wins. And during those seasons, the ACC has been rated as the nation's top conference by the RPI.

ACC Wins in the Last Two Years*

1. Florida State46
2. Wake Forest39
3. Clemson30
t4. North Carolina28
t4. Georgia Tech28
6. NC State27
7. Virginia14
t8. Duke13
t8. Maryland13

(*Includes regular season and tournament games)


The winningest coach in Wake Forest history in any sport, head coach George Greer is now in his 13th season with the Demon Deacons. He owns a record of 438-276-2 at Wake Forest, and has led the Deacs to 30 or more wins in 11 of 12 seasons, including a school-record 47 wins last year. Greer reached 400 victories at Wake Forest last season, and he became just the 8th coach in ACC history to win that many games at a conference school.

A 26-year veteran of coaching, Greer has a 544-398-6 record in 19 years at the Division I level. Greer reached the 500 career victory plateau last season. Prior to coming to Wake Forest, Greer coached at Davidson and Connecticut-Avery Point as well as in the Cape Cod League.