Deacons To Face Tar Heels In First Round
May 14, 2001
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Deacons Seek Third Title In Four Years
Wake enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face sixth-seeded North Carolina on Wednesday at approximately 8:30 p.m. The Demon Deacons won back-to-back tournament titles in 1998 and 1999 and are looking for their third ACC crown in four years. Wake Forest enters the conference tournament on a four-game winning streak.
Last Time Out
On the hill, senior starter Josh Bartlett got the win striking out five batters without allowing a hit in two innings of work. Seven pitchers combined to hold High Point to just six hits. Prior to Sunday, the Demon Deacons had been idle for 11 days as the student-athletes took finals.
History 101: Deacons in the ACC Tourney
The last time Wake Forest failed to win the opening round game was in 1997, a loss to Clemson. Wake Forest has not been a No. 3 seed since 1982. The Deacons lost their first round contest to Virginia before working through the losers? bracket to the semifinals against North Carolina.
Wake Forest lost the game 5-4. Tar Heel reliever, and current Associated Press writer, Dave Droschak picked up the victory for the Tar Heels.
Sullivan Named Howser Award Semifinalist
Sullivan has been the Deacons' best hitter all season out of the leadoff spot. He has also unexpectedly become the team's top starter. Sullivan finished among the ACC leaders in every offensive category and several pitching categories. He was tabbed by Baseball America as one of the country's top three senior outfielders.
D'Antona Chasing All-America Honors
Bush doesn't fit the traditional mold of a closer as he is second on the team in innings and first in strikeouts. Several times this season, Bush has been called upon in the seventh, or even the sixth inning. He has struck out the side on six occasions, an incredible feat for a pitcher who has thrown just 58.2 innings. Bush is Wake Forest's all-time leader in saves (22) and appearances (105).
Greer Gets 500 at Wake Forest
This is Greer's 14th season at Wake Forest with a record of 508-309-3. His overall record is 614-431-7 in 20 seasons as a Division I head coach, including six at Davidson. Greer coached his 1,000th Division I game last season in the NCAA Tournament.
Class Of 2001: Definition of Success
This class finishes with ACC record of 59-35, a winning percentage of .628. The 59 wins are the most of any other four-year span in school history.
Later this month, Wake Forest will likely make its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. No other class in the illustrious history of Demon Deacon baseball can make that claim.
Aquilante Playing Through The Pain
He's back at it again.
On Friday April 20 against NC State, Aquilante broke the little finger in his right (throwing) hand while catching warmup pitches from Dave Bush between innings.
Initially, it was believed Aquilante would miss four-to-six weeks due to the insertion of a pin that would speed up the healing process. Less than 48 hours later, the Deacons were playing their final home ACC game of the season. With a big lead in hand, Aquilante persuaded head coach George Greer into letting him pinch-hit in the seventh inning. He remained the game to play second base, his position for the first three years of his college career.
He showed no effects and the next day against Liberty, Aquilante homered. Remarkably, since the injury, he has been the team's hottest hitter, batting .457 (16-for-35) with six extra base hits and nine RBI.
And The Hits Just Keep On Coming
Six regulars have averages better than .320 led by Cory Sullivan's .390 mark.
Second baseman Nick Blue (Saratoga) and right fielder Ryan Johnson (Laguna Hills) are everyday players in the Wake Forest lineup. Ryan Braun (Fresno) and Ben Clayton (San Leandro) are two of the team's best starters while Ryan Lewis (Newport Beach) is a top arm out of the bullpen.
Josh Hansen (Santa Ana) and Gregory Russell (Glendale) have been impressive as freshmen. That list doesn't include Cory Sullivan, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native, who came to Wake from Cypress Junior College in California.
Wake Forest, not traditionally known as a running team, has been stealing bases at an unprecedented rate. In the month of April, a stretch of 18 games, the Stealin' Deacons swiped 39 bases in 40 attempts.
Records Are Made To Be Broken
Deacons Love The Lefties
The list of victims includes a couple of highly-regarded pitchers including Virginia's Brandon Creswell, 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 9.54 in 50.0 innings pitched against Wake Forest.
The only time the Demon Deacons were unable to post a victory against a lefty was on April 18, a 3-1 loss at High Point. David White shut down the Deacons but did not earn the victory.
Three Deacons Nominated For All-America Honors From Writers Association
Sullivan was a NCBWA second team Preseason All-American. At the conclusion of last season, Sullivan was chosen a third team All-American by the writers.
Previous Wake Forest NCBWA All-Americans include Danny Borrell (1999 - 2nd Team), Mike MacDougal (1999 - 2nd Team), Jon Palmieri (1999 - 1st Team, 1998 - 3rd Team) and John Hendricks (1998 - 1st Team).
Hooks Stadium Flag Flies At Half-Staff
We Meet Again
After nine innings the game was tied at three. Carolina scored two in the 11th but Wake Forest responded with two of its own on a Carlos Brackley RBI single and on a double play groundout by Ryan Johnson. In the top of the 12th, UNC again put up two runs. And again, Wake Forest tied it. Stephen Sullivan's infield groundout and another RBI single by Brackley pulled the game even at seven.
Borrell retired the Tar Heels in the top of the 13th and with one out in the bottom of the 13th, belted a solo home run to right field for the gamewinner.
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