Wake Forest Travels to Florida State for Weekend Series
March 15, 2007
IN THE BATTERS BOX -- Wake Forest will be facing the No. 4-ranked team in the country for the second straight weekend, as the Demon Deacons travel to Tallahassee to face undefeated Florida State. Wake enters the weekend 11-7 overall and 2-1 in conference play. The Deacs took two of three from Virginia last weekend but were swept in a mid-week series by Ball State. FSU is off to its best start in school history at 20-0. The Seminoles, who swept Indiana last weekend, are opening ACC play with the Deacs.
FLORIDA STATE INSIDER -- At 20-0, Florida State is off to the best start in the baseball program's history. The Seminoles are coming off a three-game sweep of non-conference foe Indiana in Tallahassee last weekend. FSU has played 19 of its 20 games so far at Dick Howser Stadium. The `Noles have out-scored their opponents by a combined mark of 238-63. As a team, Florida State is hitting a robust .401. Tony Thomas leads the team in hitting at .537, while Buster Posey is the RBI leader with 28. The pitching staff has a collective ERA of 2.55. Michael Hyde has allowed just seven earned runs in 34 innings of work (1.85 ERA).
ON DECK -- The Demon Deacons will play two non-conference games next week. Wake Forest will host its third MAC opponent of the season with Ohio on Tuesday. The Deacs will then travel to Winthrop on Wednesday. Next weekend, Wake will head east to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina.
RANKINGS -- Wake Forest is not ranked but is receiving votes in two polls. The Deacons got 27 votes in this week's ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll and were listed on this week's NCBWA Top 30 Poll. Florida State is ranked as high as No. 2 in the polls. Collegiate Baseball has the Seminoles at No. 2, while Baseball America ranked FSU No. 4. Florida State is ranked third in the country in both the USA Today/ESPN poll and the NCBWA poll.
BALL STATE LEFTOVERS --
ELLIS IS SPOTLESS -- Reliever Josh Ellis has yet to give up a single run this season. The righthander has pitched 14 2/3 scoreless innings. In 10 appearances, all in relief, Ellis has given up just five hits. The Lexington, Ky., native has struck out 21 batters and walked just three. In his only appearance of the mid-week, Ellis struck out the side in order in the ninth inning on Wednesday. He is 2-0 with one save on the season. The save against Virginia on March 9 was the first of Ellis' career.
FOXY DEACON -- Willy Fox was named the ACC Player of the Week on Monday. Fox had a hit in all five games last week, including two walk-off, game-winning hits. On Tuesday, Fox's two-run double capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning of Wake Forest's 5-4 win over Gardner-Webb. On Friday against No. 4 Virginia, Fox hit his first two home runs of the season in the Demon Deacons' 8-3 win. He became the first player this season to hit a homer off Cavalier lefty Sean Doolittle. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth of Sunday's 7-6 series-clinching win over Virginia. He finished Sunday's game 4-for-5. Fox also went 3-for-4 in Wake's loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday. For the week, Fox finished with a team-best average of .478 and also led the team in hits (11), RBIs (8), slugging percentage (.826) and on-base percentage (.500). For the Virginia series, Fox hit .692 (9-for-13) with six RBIs.
HITTING STREAKS -- Four Demon Deacons are currently riding hitting streaks of five games or more. Allan Dykstra leads Wake Forest with an eight-game hitting streak, while Willy Fox is at seven games. Dykstra and Evan Ocheltree have each had a team-best nine-game hitting streak earlier this season. Ocheltree had his streak snapped Wednesday against Ball State.
Player Statistics During Streak
GOFF DOUBTFUL WITH ELBOW INJURY -- Second baseman Andy Goff remains doubtful with a hyper-extended elbow. The junior injured his throwing elbow turning a double play in the final inning of Wake Forest's 16-11 loss to UNC Wilmington on Sunday, March 4. Goff did not play in either of the mid-week games, as Nathan Frazier filled in at second. Frazier had a hit in each game, going 1-for-3 against Gardner-Webb and 1-for-2 with an RBI against High Point. Goff had started each of the first 11 games of the season at second base. Goff had a solid series against UNC Wilmington, as he collected five hits and had five RBIs. For the season, Goff is hitting .267 with six runs driven in. Goff's availability will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
VIRGINIA LEFTOVERS --