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Wake Baseball Downs App State 5-4; Continues Rolling in March

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The Diamond Deacs just keep finding ways to win games.

Bruce Steel saved the day with a 9th inning homer.
Dean Shore

Your Diamond Deacs just keep on winning, folks. The Wake Forest baseball team took a trip to Boone, NC to take on familiar foe App State in game 1 of an extended 2-part series. Despite the Deacs’ high-powered offense being a lot more tame than usual, the pitching staff stepped up in a huge way to hold the Mountaineers to just 4 runs on 8 hits. Later on, some 9th inning heroics by SS Bruce Steel ended up being the deciding difference in a game that fits the theme of a phenomenal month of March.

Wake struck early in the matchup thanks to a solo Home Run by Jake Mueller in the second AB in the game, but App State came back with 2 of their own in the bottom half of the 1st to take an early lead. Keegan Maronpot then joined the dinger party with a solo shot in the 3rd, his sixth of the year and 3x as many as he had in all of 2016. The deadly 3-4-5 trio of Fairchild, Sheets, and Breazeale led a 2-out rally in the top half of the six to drive in two more runs. The Wake lead was brief, however, as App got a run right back its next time up at the plate to tie it at 4-4. Finally, with the score knotted at 4’s in the top of the 9th, Bruce Steel came to the rescue with a clutch solo blast that put the Deacs back on top for good. P John McCarren came in to earn his second save on the year and push Wake to 12 games over .500 at 19-7.

The win was the cherry on top for arguably the best month of baseball for Wake Forest in recent memory. The Deacs have gone 14-3 since March 1, won 3-straight ACC series to start the year for the first time since 2002, and gone 7-2 against teams in North Carolina, and also a win over the reigning NCAA Champs, Coastal Carolina, from nearby Conway, SC. The streak has been led by powerhouse hitting, averaging almost 9 runs per game and posting double digit run totals 6 different times.

Wake will have a chance to add to that total on Friday when they open up a series against Miami down in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes are 4-5 in the ACC after playing against GT, NC State, and UNC respectively. Let’s hope the Deacs can get to 15 wins in the month of March and continue to push Louisville and Clemson at the top of the ACC for the regular season title.