Deacons Close Out Regular Season At Home

May 12, 2000

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The 14th-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons will take on the third-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a three-game ACC series this weekend at Hooks Stadium. The Deacons have taken the last two weekends off for finals. Earlier this week, Wake defeated High Point on Monday and Tuesday and Old Dominion on Wednesday.

Georgia Tech comes into the weekend with a record of 40-13 overall and 16-5 in the ACC. The Jackets have defeated Mercer (16-7) and East Tennessee State (10-6) so far this week.

Wake Forest junior center fielder Cory Sullivan (.385-7-45) leads the team in hitting. Sullivan leads the team in hits with 90, and is tied for second in doubles with 17. Sullivan is second on the team in stolen bases with 16 in 23 attempts.

Junior catcher Dan Conway (.345-14-53) leads the team and the ACC in home runs so far this season with 14. Conway has the highest slugging percentage on the team at .655.

Junior 1B/DH/RF Danny Borrell (.305-11-51) 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 51 of the Deacons' 52 games this season.

Wake Forest's junior infield duo of second baseman Jason Aquilante (.296-2-30) and third-baseman Corey Slavik (.320-8-55) are mainstays in the lineup. Chase Voshell (.347-3-51) recently returned to his short stop position after being the DH for several games due to a shoulder injury.

The outfield is anchored in the middle by Sullivan, and in left field by Matt Price (.278-6-29). Righty Carlos Brackley (.292-8-32) and lefty Ryan Johnson (.306-2-15) have shared time in right field. Senior Stephen Sullivan (.316-0-11) has seen time in left field, while versatile sophomore Jamie Athas (.319-2-25) has played DH, first base, second base and short stop while Voshell was out with a sore shoulder. Ricky Mendez (.286-1-19) has shared time at first base with Athas and Borrell this season.

Junior right-hander Scott Siemon (10-1, 2.35 ERA) is scheduled to start the series' first game on Friday. Siemon won eight straight decisions after losing his opening start earlier this season. During that stretch, he threw three complete games against ACC opponents, including two shut-outs. After three staright no-decisions, Siemon has gained victories in his last two starts against Maryland and High Point.

Red-shirt freshman right-hander Ryan Braun (3-2, 2.76 ERA) will start the middle game on Saturday. Braun has worked himself into the starting rotation for the final two ACC series of the season. He has earned three wins in relief, with two coming over North Carolina and the last against High Point.

Senior right-hander Eric Schmitt (6-0, 2.53 ERA) is scheduled to start the Sunday game of the series. Schmitt made his return earlier this season from an elbow injury and has since worked himself back into the regular rotation. Schmitt earned the Deacs only win in the series against Clemson and in his most recent start, he held Maryland to one hit over eight innings.

Since 1957, Georgia Tech leads the all-time series with Wake Forest 40-22-1. In games played at Wake Forest, the Yellow Jackets lead 13-10-1. Wake defeated Tech in two of three games last season in Atlanta. The Deacs have won four of the last five meetings.

At the annual Wake Forest Spring Sports Banquet on April 24, junior catcher Dan Conway was named team MVP. Conway currently leads the ACC in home runs with 14 and is second on the team in RBI with 53. He is also third on the team in hitting among every-day players at .345.

Wake Forest dropped two of the three games at home against the Maryland Terrapins in its most recent ACC series April 21-23. The Deacs dropped the Friday and Sunday games, each by a score of 4-2, but avoided the sweep by winning the Saturday game 11-0.

The Deacs returned to action earlier this week after taking the last two weeks off for exams. In the first game back, Wake defeated High Point 6-2 on Monday. Catcher Dan Conway went 2-for-3 with an RBI and hit his ACC-leading 14th home run. On Tuesday, the Deacs, once again took on High Point, this time coming away with a 12-5 victory. Conway, Corey Slavik and Matt Price all had big games for Wake. On Wednesday, the Demon Deacons traveled to Norfolk, VA, where they defeated the Old Dominion Monarchs 14-5. The Deacs pounded out 21 hits, including five home runs. Cory Sullivan led the way with two home runs, while Chase Voshell, Carlos Brackley and Ricky Mendez each homered in the game.

The Wake Forest baseball team is currently on a streak of 154 consecutive games without being shut out. The last time Wake was shut out was on March 24, 1998 when the UNC Charlotte 49ers defeated the Deacs 7-0 at Hooks Stadium.

To lead off the fourth inning in Wake Forest's 2-0 win at UNC Greensboro on Tuesday, April 11, 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 has currently been hit 26 times in his career. He 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 .385 batting average, has hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games. He is second on the team in doubles with 17.

Through he went hitless in the two games against High Point this week, Sullivan came back in the Old Dominion game, going 4-for-5 with three RBI and two home runs.

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 37 of the 46 games he has played in. He is batting .319 with two home runs and 25 RBI. Lewis, a relief pitcher, has seen action in 14 games and has a 4.42 ERA.

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 State62
2. Wake Forest53
3. Clemson44
4. Georgia Tech40
T-5. NC State37
T-5. North Carolina37
7. Virginia20
8. Duke17
9. Maryland15

(*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 467-291-3 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 573-410-7 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.