Baseball Prepares For Clemson

April 12, 2000

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The 11th-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons will travel to Clemson, SC this weekend for a three-game ACC series with the sixth-ranked Clemson Tigers. Wake enters the weekend with a record of 31-9-1 overall and 11-4 in ACC play. Last weekend, the Deacs swept the North Carolina Tar Heels in a three games at Hooks Stadium. Clemson enters the weekend with a record of 29-8 overall and 6-3 in league play. The Tigers won two-of-three at home against N.C. State last weekend.

Wake Forest junior center fielder Cory Sullivan, .379-5-34, leads the team in hitting. Sullivan leads the team in hits with 69, and is second in doubles with 14. Sullivan is second on the team in stolen bases with 10 in 16 attempts.

Junior catcher Dan Conway, .321-12-46, leads the team and the ACC in home runs so far this season with 12. Conway has the highest slugging percentage on the team at .654.

Junior 1B/DH Danny Borrell, .312-9-45, is tied for third on the team in RBI and is currently second in home runs. Borrell, who also pitches for the Deacs, has started all 41 games this season.

Wake Forest's junior infield trio of short stop Chase Voshell, .356-2-45, second baseman Jason Aquilante, .310-2-28, and third-baseman Corey Slavik, .350-7-50, are mainstays in the lineup.

The outfield is anchored in the middle by Sullivan, and in left field by junior Matt Price, .278-5-22. Righty Carlos Brackley, .302-6-23 and lefty Ryan Johnson, .254-2-7 platoon in right field. Stephen Sullivan,.322-0-10 , has also seen time in left field, while versatile sophomore Jamie Athas, .321-2-20, has seen time at DH, first base, second base and short stop. Ricky Mendez, .278-0-16, has shared time at first base with Athas this season.

Junior right-hander Scott Siemon (8-1, 2.43 ERA) will get the starting nod in the series opener on Friday. Siemon has gained eight victories in his last nine starts. In his last five starts, Siemon has pitched three complete games, and has two shut outs. Opponents are hitting just .210 against him this season. In his time at Wake Forest, Siemon has compiled an impressive 20-3 record.

Junior left-hander Danny Borrell (3-1, 7.29 ERA) will start the weekend's second game on Saturday. Since suffering a hand injury at N.C. State, Borrell has slowly returned to the regular rotation. In his last start, against North Carolina, Borrell pitched six innings, giving up just three runs on seven hits.

Senior right-hander Eric Schmitt (5-0, 3.05 ERA) is scheduled to start the final game of the weekend on Sunday. Schmitt made his return earlier this season after missing part of the 1999 season because of a small tear in his elbow ligaments. After making a few appearances in relief, Schmitt has wins over Liberty, Virginia Tech, Columbia, Duke and UNC Greensboro so far this season. In his last appearance, Schmitt allowed no runs in six innings to pick up his fifth win of the season at UNC Greensboro. Schmitt holds a 22-2 career record at Wake Forest.

Since the forming of the ACC in 1954, Clemson leads the series with Wake Forest 89-33. Last season, the Deacons went 5-0 against the Tigers, including two wins in the ACC Tournament. In all, Wake has won its last six meetings with Clemson. In games played at Clemson, the Tigers lead 40-7.

Junior catcher Dan Conway, a transfer from Providence College, has belted 12 home runs through the first 41 games of the season. The 12 home runs not only leads the team, but they lead the ACC as well. He has already surpassed his previous high of 10 home runs, which he hit last season at Providence.

Conway was also tied for sixth in the conference in RBI with teammate Chase Voshell with 44.

To lead off the fourth inning in Wake Forest's 2-0 win at UNC Greensboro on Tuesday, second baseman Jason Aquilante was hit by a pitch for the 23rd time in his career. With that, Aquilante set a new Wake Forest career record. The previous record holder was Mark Melito with 22. Aquilante also holds the single season record in this category with 12 set in the 1999 season.

Junior center fielder Cory Sullivan, who currently leads the team with a .379 batting average, has hit safely in six straight games and 10 of the last 11 games. He is second on the team in doubles with 14.

Last weekend against North Carolina, Sullivan was 7-for-11 (.636). In his last outing, at Virginia Tech, Sullivan belted his fifth home run of the season and went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Coming into the weekend, Wake Forest has won 11 consecutive games, which is the team's longest winning streak of the season. The last time the Deacs failed to win came in a 14-14 tie with UNC Charlotte on March 28. The game was called after 10 innings because of darkness. The last time the Demon Deacons were defeated was in the second game of the Virginia series, a 10-9 loss.

When Providence College decided to cut its baseball program after last season, the Providence program's loss was Wake Forest's gain. All three of the Deacs' Providence transfers, Dan Conway, Jamie Athas and Ryan Lewis, have contributed to Wake's success so far this season. Conway leads the team in home runs and is second in RBI. Athas has started 28 of the 36 games he has played in. He is batting .321 with two home runs and 20 RBI. Lewis, a relief pitcher, has seen action in 14 games and has a 4.42 ERA.

Last weekend, Wake Forest gained its second straight sweep of an ACC series by sweeping the then-fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels at Hooks Stadium. All three games were close. In the first game, the Deacs had to overcome an early 5-0 deficit to win 9-7. In the second game of the series, a 9-8 win, Wake was powered by three home runs. Two of those homers came from third baseman Corey Slavik and the third was courtesy of right fielder Carlos Brackley. The final game of the series was a 4-3 Wake win in which Danny Borrell pitched six solid innings and David Bush closed out the final three innings to lead the Deacons to victory.

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 since 1998*
1. Florida State 56
2. Wake Forest 50
3. Clemson 36
t4. NC State 35
t4. Georgia Tech 35
6. North Carolina 32
7. Virginia 19
8. Duke 16
9. Maryland 13
(*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 461-283-3 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 567-405-7 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.



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