While yesterday was a bit of a downer in the basketball category, the Wake Forest Diamond Deacs continued their hot play as of late and knocked off No. 18 (and defending College World Series champs) Coastal Carolina 13-8.
Wake Forest has now won seven consecutive games, and nine out of their last ten games to push their record to 10-4 before ACC play begins this weekend.
Sophomore second baseman led the way for the Deacs, going 4-5 with 4 RBIs and a walk. Jonathan Pryor continues to be a threat to get on base out of the leadoff spot, reaching safely four times in six at-bats, including three walks. He is now batting .407 on the season, with a .493 OBP.
Coastal Carolina (9-6) got off to a hot start against Wake starter Colin Peluse, tagging him for 3 runs in the first.
The Deacs had their guy’s back though and responded with five runs in the top of the second to take a 5-3 lead after a 3-run home run by Stuart Fairchild. The Chanticleers then put up two more quick runs to tie it at 5 through two innings.
The third inning saw another quick response from Wake to re-take an 8-5 lead, this time taking advantage of a leadoff double from catcher Ben Breazeale to string together a few hits from Logan Harvey and Mueller.
Wake pushed the lead to 10-5 after a two-run homer by Breazeale in the fourth, but Coastal came right back and made it 10-8 before a Johnny Aiello homer for Wake extended the lead again to 12-8.
That would prove to be enough for the Wake bullpen, as Mueller tacked on an insurance run to make it 13-8. While Peluse and John McCarren gave up 7 earned runs in 4 2/3, the back end of the bullpen did quite well in their roles, as six guys combined to limit the Chanticleers offense to just one hit over the final 4 1⁄3 innings.
While pitching continues to be a committee effort during the mid-week, and seemingly always results in high-scoring affairs, the bats for Wake Forest have been ridiculous to start the season.
The Deacs have scored 130 runs (9.3 RPG), while allowing 81 (5.8) on the season. The 130 runs is good enough for fifth nationally, and shows that the Deacs have picked up quite well from where Nate Mondou and Will Craig left them after last year.
The tough week continues this weekend, as Wake will host pre-season ACC favorite N.C. State to David Couch Ballpark. The Wolfpack have sputtered a bit to start the year, sitting at just 7-6, and already sporting losses to Western Carolina, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Maryland, Charlotte, and Austin Peay.
I fully expect the Wolfpack to get it going as the year goes along, so this is a big chance to win a series against one of the best teams in the country. If the Diamond Deacs can take care of 2⁄3 on their home field this weekend then there is a good chance they will be ranked in the polls come Monday.
That leads into a softer schedule next week, including a road game against High Point, and road series at the Duke Blue Devils.
If you are in Winston this weekend then get out there and support the team. They sell beer there now, so that’s a huge positive to going as well.
First pitch on Friday is at 6 PM, while Saturday is 4 PM, and Sunday is 1 PM. I expect the Deacs to go with the same order of Parker Dunshee, Connor Johnstone, and Donnie Sellers.