Wake Hits Atlanta For Showdown With Tech

April 12, 2001

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Wake Forest (25-10) at #3 Georgia Tech (28-8)
April 13 7:00 p.m.
April 14 1:00 p.m.
April 15 1:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports South
Radio: 830 AM WTRU / www.wakeforestsports.com

Wake Hits Atlanta For Showdown With Tech
The Demon Deacons take a six-game winning streak to Atlanta for a weekend series with third-ranked Georgia Tech. The series winner will claim second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Entering the series, Wake Forest is just one-half game behind the Yellow Jackets in the league standings.

Wake Forest (25-10) is swinging the bat well, coming off its two best offensive performances of the season, victimizing Virginia Tech and Appalachian State for 18 runs each on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Deacons have racked up 74 runs in their last six games.

Georgia Tech (28-8) posted a pair of mid-week wins over in-state rival Georgia Southern.

Scouting the Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech has been without preseason national player of the year Mark Teixeira since early in the season but has continued to post impressive offensive numbers.

The Jackets are hitting an ACC-best .355 and average more than 10 runs per contests. Shortstop Victor Menocal and catcher Bryan Prince are both hitting .400 or better.

On the hill, Rhett Parrott's seven wins are tied for the best in the league.

Wake-Tech: The Series History
Georgia Tech owns the all-time series lead 43-23-1 since 1957 and Wake Forest has historically struggled in Atlanta as the Yellow Jackets have won 15 of the last 18 at Russ Chandler Stadium since 1988.

But the Deacons' venture to the Peach City in 1999 was a fruitful one that saw Wake Forest take two of three including a 22-1 win in the Friday game.

The senior class of 2001 that includes four-year starters Corey Slavik and Jason Aquilante holds a 5-6 record against the Yellow Jackets.

Deacons Get Red-Hot At The Plate
Wake Forest scored 36 runs in two games during the week, including an 18-8 win at Virginia Tech and an 18-4 win vs. Appalachian State in Hickory on Wednesday night.

The Deacons haven't posted this many runs in a two-game stretch since May 12 and 14, 1999 when Wake demolished Liberty 21-5 and Maryland 16-7. Those games were part of a five-game stretch where the Deacs scored at least ten runs in every game.

The 2001 squad has scored 74 runs over its last six games, entering the Georgia Tech series.

During this span, Wake is hitting .364 led by seniors Matt Price (.522) and Jason Aquilante (.474).

Back At Full Strength
With the return of senior pitcher Scott Siemon from a shoulder injury, it appears Wake Forest finally has all hands on deck.

In late-February and early-March, Wake Forest lost two of its top three starters to injury as both were sidelined with tendonitis in their throwing shoulders.

But Siemon, a first-team All-ACC selection last season, started on Wednesday at Appalachian State and pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning to make himself available for duty this weekend at Georgia Tech. He earned the win in a declared pitch-count situation.

Ryan Braun missed a month with the injury but returned on March 28 against Old Dominion. He has made four appearances since the injury, going 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 14.0 innings.

The absence of the two pitchers forced Wake Forest to toss some players into the fire. Prior to this season, freshman Kyle Sleeth and seniors Cory Sullivan and Josh Bartlett had a combined 13 innings of college pitching experience.

But they have carried the load combining for 15 starts and 95.2 innings. All have made major contributions as Sullivan has a 3-0 record to go with a sub-2.00 ERA. Sleeth leads the team with five wins.

Bartlett was impressive at East Carolina and Florida State, giving Wake a chance to win both games.

Greer Gets 600th Career Victory, Approachs Another Milestone
Sunday's 4-1 win over Virginia gave head coach George Greer his 600th career victory.

With one milestone already achieved, Greer has another well within reach. He is four wins away of reaching 500 wins as the Wake Forest skipper.

This is Greer's 14th season at Wake Forest with a record of 496-304-3, the most wins by any Deacon coach in history, regardless of sport.

Greer coached his 1,000th Division I game last season in the NCAA Tournament and owns a career record of 602-426-7 (.584).

Greer is the school's 23rd coach in the program's 87 season history. His 14-year tenure is the longest of any prior Wake Forest baseball coach, ahead of John Caddell's 13 years from 1926-39.

Greer's Milestone Wins At WFU

#DateOpponent
12/14/88at Fla. Int'l
1005/6/90vs. Ga. Tech
2004/21/93vs. UNCG
3004/24/96vs. NC A&T
4003/23/98vs. Ga. Tech

Deacons Still Love The Lefties
Wake Forest hasn't seen too many southpaw starters this season but the Deacons are a perfect 7-0 against left-handed starters.

The list of victims includes a couple of highly-regarded prospects including James Madison's Adam Wynegar, New Orleans' Tom Lipari and East Carolina's Foye Minton.

This year, opponent southpaw starters have a combined ERA of 9.98 in 39.2 innings pitched against WFU.

Deja Vu All Over Again?
Flashback to 1999. The Demon Deacons get off to a hot start, going 18-5 before traveling to Greenville to face East Carolina. Wake Forest loses the game, goes to Tallahassee gets swept.

The Deacons come home to take on Virginia, sweep the Cavaliers and go on to win 18 of their final 21, take five straight to win the ACC tournament and advance to the NCAA Super Regional.

Fast forward to 2001. Wake Forest got off to its best start in history with a 17-4 record. The Deacons lost on March 21 at ECU and swept last weekend by the Seminoles.

The 2001 Deacons have started to repeat history, already sweeping Virginia. This season, however, they hope to take it a step further in the NCAA Tournament by advancing to Omaha.

Deacons on TV
All three Georgia Tech games will be televised regionally on Fox Sports South. Wes Durham and Randy Carroll calls the action while Craig Ritchie produces.

Deacons On Radio
The series will be broadcast on WTRU 830 AM and the internet at www.wakeforestsports.com. In addition, Stan Cotten will call Wake Forest's entire ACC and NCAA Tournament schedule on WTRU and on the internet.

Cory Sullivan: A Six-Tool Player
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 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 when Scott Siemon and Ryan Braun went down with injuries, Sullivan showed a new element in his game: pitching.

In just three career starts, Sullivan is already 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA and wins against North Carolina and Clemson. His complete game victory against the Tigers earned him ACC Pitcher of the Week honors.

Even with the return of first team All-ACC pitcher Scott Siemon and Ryan Braun the team's No. 1 and No. 3 starters in the preseason, Sullivan will likely continue to see time in the weekend rotation.

Sullivan has impressed the coaching staff and his statistics are enough evidence to show that Sullivan will be used as a starter as the season progresses regardless of the injury situation.

Last year, Wake successfully used Danny Borrell as a pitcher, first baseman and designated hitter. Borrell signed after being a second round draft pick of the New York Yankees.

A Note From the Scheduling Department
Wake Forest has weathered the storm as far as the schedule goes. On paper, the toughest stretch of the 2001 slate has come and gone. Between March 21 and April 1, Wake Forest played seven games against ranked opponents, four of which came on the road. The Demon Deacons went 1-6 during that span.

Wake Forest has played 10 games against ranked opponents, the most of any ACC team. The remaining regular season schedule lists 17 games. Of those eight opponents, the only ranked team is Georgia Tech, currently ranked third nationally.

 

 

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