Wake Baseball Takes On Seton Hall In NCAA First Round

May 23, 2000

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will take on the Seton Hall Pirates in the first round of the NCAA Columbia, SC Regional on Friday, May 26. Seton Hall is 40-16 overall this season. The Deacs come in with a record of 39-18-1.

A GLANCE AT THE DEMON DEACONS
Wake Forest junior center fielder Cory Sullivan (.364-7-45) is tied for the team lead in hitting among every-day players. Sullivan leads the team in hits with 94, and is third in doubles with 17. Sullivan leads the team in stolen bases with 21 in 28 attempts.

Junior catcher Dan Conway (.333-14-56) leads the team and is second in the ACC in home runs so far this season with 14. Conway has the highest slugging percentage on the team at .623.

Junior 1B/DH/RF Danny Borrell (.308-12-56) is tied for the team lead in RBI and is currently second in home runs. Borrell, who also pitches for the Deacs, has started 57 of the Deacons' 58 games this season.

Wake Forest's junior infield duo of second baseman Jason Aquilante (.291-2-32) and short stop Chase Voshell (.333-3-54) are mainstays in the lineup. Jamie Athas (.309-2-29) has taken over for the injured Corey Slavik (.320-8-55) at third base.

The outfield is anchored in the middle by Sullivan, and in left field by Matt Price (.279-7-36). Righty Carlos Brackley (.306-10-40) and lefty Ryan Johnson (.295-2-15) have shared time in right field. Senior Stephen Sullivan (.322-0-12) has seen time in left field as well. Ricky Mendez (.275-1-21) has shared time at first base with Athas and Borrell this season.

PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Junior right-hander Scott Siemon (10-2, 2.60 ERA) is scheduled to start the Deacs' opening game in the regional 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 straight no-decisions, Siemon has gained victories in two of his last four starts against Maryland and High Point. His last outing came in the Deacs' first round ACC Tournament game against North Carolina. Siemon pitched the first nine innings of the 13-inning victory, but was not involved in the decision.

Senior right-hander Eric Schmitt (6-0, 2.53 ERA) is scheduled to start Wake's second game in the tournament. Schmitt returned this year from last season's season-ending injury. He did not pitch in the Georgia Tech series. Schmitt pitched eight innings, giving up just one hit over eight innings in the Friday game against Maryland.

WAKE VERSUS THE REGIONAL FIELD

Since 1954, Wake Forest owns a 23-19 all-time record against South Carolina. The Gamecocks have won the last eight meetings, though the teams have not met since 1977.

The Deacs own a 14-3-1 all-time record against Liberty. The two teams have played twice this season with each team winning on its home field. Wake defeated Liberty 9-7 on Feb. 19, at Hooks Stadium, and Liberty returned the favor by downing Wake 7-5 on March 23 in Lynchburg.

Wake Forest and Seton Hall have never met in baseball.

WAKE MAKES NCAA FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
For the third year in a row, the Wake Forest baseball team has earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament. In 1998, the Deacs won their first two games in their regional in Gainesville, Fla., but then were defeated in two straight games to end their tournament run. Last season, Wake hosted a regional for the first time at Ernie Shore Field. The Deacs won the regional and advanced to the Super Regional round where they were matched up with eventual-national champion Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The team fell just short of Omaha, losing two straight to the Hurricanes.

This season also marks the eighth time overall that Wake has made the NCAA Tournament. The Deacs were in the NCAAs in 1949, 1955, 1962, 1963, 1977, 1998 and 1999. In 1955, Wake won the College World Series. The Deacons are the only team in the history of the ACC to win the World Series.

WFU IN ELITE COMPANY
Wake Forest is one of only 10 Division I schools to compete in post-season play in football, men's basketball and baseball. The Wake Forest football team won the Aloha Bowl and the men's basketball team won the NIT. Arizona State, Florida, Fresno State, Illinois, Miami, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford and Texas also competed in post-season play in all three sports. Wake is the only ACC school on the list.

SCORING RUNS
The Wake Forest baseball team is currently on a streak of 160 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.

AQUILANTE SETS CAREER RECORD
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 28 times in his career. He also holds the single season record in this category with 12, set in the 1999 season.

WAKE FALLS IN ACC QUARTERFINALS
Wake entered last week's ACC Tournament as the fourth seed. The Deacs got off to a good start by defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the fourth time this season, 8-7, in 13 innings. The Deacs then faced regular season champion Georgia Tech. The Deacons lost for the third time in four games against the Jackets, 6-3. Up next for Wake was the seventh-seeded Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia upset Wake 8-3 to eliminate the Deacons from the tournament.

THE PROVIDENCE CONNECTION
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 in RBI. Athas has started 43 of the 52 games he has played in. He is batting .309 with two home runs and 29 RBI. Lewis, a relief pitcher, has seen action in 15 games and has a 5.85 ERA.

PRESEASON ACCOLADES
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.

DEACS PICKED 4th IN PRESEASON ACC POLL
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).

DEMON DEACONS IN THE ACC
Spanning the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons, Wake Forest has been impressive against ACC opponents. The Demon Deacons have 53 wins over ACC clubs (including regular season and tournament games), second among all ACC schools behind only Florida State's 65 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 65
2. Wake Forest 53
3. Clemson 48
4. Georgia Tech 46
5. North Carolina 39
6. NC State 37
7. Virginia 23
8. Duke 19
9. Maryland 16

(*Includes regular season and tournament games)

HEAD COACH GEORGE GREER
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 470-295-3 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 575-414-7 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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