#20 Wake Forest Baseball Set For Charlotte Tuesday

March 19, 2001

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Games 22-23

March 20
#20 Wake Forest (17-4)
vs.
Charlotte (9-10)
3:00 p.m.
Radio: None

March 21
#20 Wake Forest
at
#23 East Carolina
6:00 p.m.
Radio: WZMB 91.3 FM (Greenville) / No Webcast

Charlotte, ECU Seek Revenge Against WFU
20th-ranked Wake Forest (17-4) returns home after four straight road games for a Tuesday contest against Charlotte before hitting the road again for a Wednesday game at East Carolina.

The Demon Deacons have already faced the two teams this year, walking away victorious both times. Exactly one month ago, Wake Forest posted a season-high 17 runs in a 17-8 win over the 49ers. On March 6, the Deacons defeated the Pirates 8-7 in the last at-bat on a Jamie D?Antona bloop single.

The Deacons enter the week on a high note after taking all three games from North Carolina over the weekend in Chapel Hill. The wins give Wake Forest an attractive 5-1 record in conference play, tied for second with Florida State and behind first place Clemson (3-0).

Scouting the 49ers
Charlotte owns a 9-10 record and has won three of its last four games.

The 'Niners have hit .290 as a team led by first baseman Brad Erwin who is batting .386 with a team-leading seven home runs.

In the last meeting between the teams on February 20, Charlotte was hampered by seven errors and was victimized by Carlos Brackley who had three hits and a career-high six runs batted in.

A Look at East Carolina
The Pirates are 18-5 entering their Tuesday game at UNC Greensboro. ECU dropped two of three against the Miami Hurricanes last weekend.

East Carolina is led by Joseph Hastings who is hitting a scolding .432 with seven home runs. The Pirates have combined for 37 home runs in 23 games and are batting .333 as a team.

In fact, seven regulars are hitting .338 or better.

ECU baserunners have had the green light with regularity this season. The Pirates have 42 stolen bases in 56 attempts.

Sullivan Shares Player of the Week Honors
All-American centerfielder Cory Sullivan shares Co-ACC Player of the Week honors this week with Virginia?s Hunter Wyant.

Sullivan led the Deacons to a 4-1 week by hitting 11-of-21 (.524) with five walks, ten runs, nine RBI and two steals against ASU, VCU and a three-game sweep in Chapel Hill.

In Wake Forest?s three wins over the Tar Heels, Sullivan was 8-of-13 (.615) with seven runs and six RBI. He made his first career start on the mound on Sunday, picking up the win after allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings. In the same game, Sullivan went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double and a home run.

Pirates-Deacons: The Series History
The Deacons snapped a five-game losing streak to East Carolina with an 8-7 win at Hooks Stadium on March 6 and now owns the all-time series lead 15-10.

Wake Forest will be looking to break another nasty streak on Wednesday. The Deacons have walked the plank seven straight times in Greenville with the last Deacon win coming 41 years ago, in 1960.

Through the years, both East Carolina and Wake Forest have proven the merits of home field advantage. Since 1956, ECU has taken seven of nine games in Greenville, including the last seven. In Winston, the Deacons have won seven of ten.

Pushing All The Right Buttons
Head coach George Greer has been successful thusfar in selecting pinch hitters. As a team, the Deacons are hitting .407 (11-of-27) in pinch hitting situations with two home runs, both by Steve LeFaivre.

LeFaivre has been Wake Forest?s most frequent pinch-hitter, grabbing a bat eight times with three hits and the two aforementioned home runs.

Other standouts in that category include Stephen Ghutzman (3-of-5), Carlos Brackley (2-of-5) and Ryan Johnson (2-of-2).

Getting the Call ... Again ... And Again ...
The next time junior closer Dave Bush trots in from the bullpen, he will do so for the 87th time, surpassing Frank Humber as Wake Forest's all-time leader in appearances.

Last year, Bush led the team with a school record 36 appearances and already leads the ACC in that category in 2001.

Meanwhile, Bush is also climbing the all-time saves chart. He has 14 career saves, good for fourth 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.

Power Surge
Through the team's 15 games, Wake Forest had rung up a respectable 13 home runs.

Since then, the Demon Deacons have been going yard at an alarming rate with 16 home runs in the last five games including eight dingers over the weekend at North Carolina.

Winston-Salem freshman Steve LeFaivre has gone deep in his last three at-bats entering the Charlotte game.

Corey Slavik hit a pair of bombs against Appalachian State on March 13.

The Deacons set a new season-high with four home runs in one game against the Tar Heels on Sunday. Cory Sullivan hit his third leadoff homer of the season, Ryan Johnson drilled a grand slam, Jamie Athas hit first of the year and LeFaivre clocked a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning to put the icing on the cake.

Is There Anything He Can't Do?
Observers of college baseball already knew Cory Sullivan had a ton of ability in the field and at the plate. That's why he was a third team All-American in 2000, his first season at Wake Forest out of Cypress JC in California.

Sullivan proved he could hit for average (.374 last year), hit for power (10 home runs in 78 career games), run well (28 stolen bases in just over one season) and could hold his own in center field.

The second team preseason All-American has been the leadoff hitter for the Deacons in every game over the last two seasons and recently, he's shown a new element in his game.

Cory Sullivan can pitch.

The senior from Pittsburgh made his first career start on Sunday and made quite a splash. He threw seven solid innings and surrended just one run on three Carolina hits. Perhaps more impressive was that it was just his fourth collegiate outing on the mound.

With first team All-ACC pitcher Scott Siemon and Ryan Braun temporarily out with injuries, Sullivan's time on the mound may be limited but in the meantime, the Deacons have added another lefty to the staff.

Last year, Wake Forest successfully used Danny Borrell as a pitcher, first baseman and designated hitter. Borrell signed with the New York Yankees after being drafted in the second round in June.

Greer Enters 14th Season At Wake Forest
Head Coach George Greer enters his 14th season at Wake Forest with a career record of 489-298-3, 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 seven wins to reach the 600-win plateau for his career. Greer is 11 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.

Deacons Off To Best 21-Game Start Since '79
Wake Forest's 17-4 start is the team's best since 1979 when Marvin Crater's squad began 18-3. It is the best start in the14-year George Greer era that includes two ACC Championships, three NCAA regional appearances and three 40-win seasons.

Not even the 1998 or the 1999 ACC Championship teams were able to win 17 of their first 21 contests.

The 2001 squad has played a difficult slate with 12 games coming against 2000 Regional teams. Wake has an 11-1 record against those teams: James Madison (1-0), Penn State (2-0), Central Florida (1-0), Rice (0-1), Liberty (1-0), New Orleans (2-0), East Carolina (1-0) and North Carolina (3-0).

Wake Forest On the Airwaves
The Wake Forest/ISP Sports Radio Network begins its coverage of Deacon baseball on March 23 with the Clemson series at Hooks Stadium.

The broadcast schedule features at least nine regular season games including the entire Virginia and Georgia Tech series. In addition, Stan Cotten will call the action as the Demon Deacons march through the postseason.

Home Sweet Hooks
The Demon Deacons completed an eight-game homestand that lasted from Feb. 27 trhough March 13 with a 7-1 record. The stretch included a pair of wins over New Orleans and one against 17th-ranked ECU.

The confines of Hooks Stadium have been very friendly as the Deacons are off to a 12-1 start at home. Since the beginning of the 1998 season, the Deacons are 78-21 (.789) at Hooks Stadium.

Wake Forest In The ACC Statistics (thru 3/18)

Batting:

  • Team Batting 3rd .329
  • Avg. Sullivan 4th .411
  • Avg. D'Antona 8th .400
  • Hits Sullivan 4th 37
  • Runs Sullivan 1st 33
  • Doubles Sullivan T-2nd 9
  • OnBase% D'Antona 4th .489
  • Slugging% D'Antona 4th .675

Pitching:

  • Team Pitching 2nd 4.24
  • ERA Hanson 6th 2.67
  • Wins Sleeth T-3rd 4
  • Innings Sleeth T-5th 36.1
  • Appearances Bush 1st 15
  • Appearances Hanson 2nd 13
  • K's Per 9 IP Bush 1st 11.42
  • Saves Bush 1st 5
  • Starts Sleeth T-1st 7

 

 

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