After a somewhat disappointing offensive performance against Miami this weekend, the Deacs got the bats going again against Elon on Tuesday night like they have all season at Couch Ballpark.
Wake Forest finished the game with 14 runs on 17 hits and committed no errors in the game. Elon finished with one run on four hits and committed one error.
With the win the Deacs moved to 22-8, including a perfect 7-0 in midweek games. Elon now sits at 15-14 overall.
After a scoreless first inning, Ty Adcock put the Phoenix up early in the top of the second with a solo home run off of Deacon starter Drew Loepprich. Loepprich appeared to be in trouble early in the third after giving up a leadoff double, but then retired three straight to get out of the inning trailing only 1-0.
Wake Forest’s bats woke up in the bottom of the third with a leadoff single by Jake Mueller immediately followed by a double from Stuart Fairchild. After an RBI groundout and a walk, Johnny Aiello hit a three-run homer (his tenth of the season) to make the score 4-1 Wake. Later in the inning Jonathan Pryor hit a 2 RBI double to make it 6-1 by the end of the third inning. Elon starting pitcher Owen Lorenz was chased after just 2 1⁄3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits.
The next three innings featured limited action until the Wake Forest bats woke up again in the bottom of the seventh, where the Deacs added on eight more runs. Freshman Nick DiPonzio came in as a pinch-hitter and hit the first home-run of his career. Later in the inning, he came up again and added a grand slam. With that grand slam, he became the first Wake player to homer twice in an inning since current San Francisco Giants member Mac Williamson in 2012, per the Wake baseball Twitter account.
What a thrill for him!
Fairchild would also add another RBI single in the inning, and Aiello would add an RBI double.
Morgan McSweeney pitched two scoreless innings and has now struck out eight of the last nine batters he's faced dating back to the weekend series with Miami.
T7: McSweeney strikes out the side! He's now fanned eight of the last nine batters he's faced dating back to the weekend. pic.twitter.com/hK2fYRwuL6— Wake Forest Baseball (@WakeBaseball) April 5, 2017
The Wake pitching staff as a whole combined for 18 strikeouts, allowing just one run on four hits and three walks.
Loepprich got the win, and recorded a career high seven strikeouts, pitching 5 innings and giving up only one run on four hits. Lorenz took the loss for the Phoenix.
A link to the box score from the game can be found here.
For a detailed look at a preview of tonight’s game, as well as the Elon team in general, check out Bart’s preview of the Elon series.
Tonight’s game will be at 6 pm at Latham Park on the campus of Elon University.
The Deacs will likely send Colin Peluse, the normal midweek starter to the mound. Since teams don’t normally play two midweek games, and I’m honestly not all that familiar with Elon’s roster, I don’t know who will be starting for the Phoenix.
The big thing to watch for tonight will be if Elon can prevent Wake Forest from having big innings like they did tonight. Anytime you have innings where six and eight runs are given up, you generally don’t have a good chance at winning. I would say this is unlikely, and look for the Deacs to be swinging for the fences and score a lot of runs again.
This is an exciting Wake Forest team, and I look forward to watching their success the rest of this season as they look to get back into the College World Series.
As always, Go Deacs!