Despite a weekend series that saw Wake Forest get off to slow starts, struggle to capitalize at times with runners on base, and blow a game in the 9th inning Friday night, the Diamond Deacs bounced back on Saturday to beat Pittsburgh 14-4 in the regular season finale and clinch the three seed in the ACC Tournament.
For the third time in three games, Pittsburgh struck first in Winston-Salem and scored in the first inning to spot themselves an early 3-0 lead before the Deacs even came to the plate. Wake knotted the game up through three innings, with a timely two out, full count two RBI single from Johnny Aiello.
With the game tied 3-3 entering the 5th after Wake relievers escaped bases-loaded one-out jams in both the 4th and 5th inning, the Deacs batted around, brought 15 guys to the plate, and scored 9 runs in a half-inning that lasted nearly 45 minutes. With a comfortable 12-3 lead at that point Wake was able to close the game out and end the Panthers season, who needed to claim the season finale to snag one of the final spots in next week’s ACC Tournament. Keegan Maronpot hit a grand slam in the 5th and a solo shot in his next at-bat in the 6th to aid the Wake offensive effort.
With the series win, Wake claimed all five home conference series and extended their record-breaking ACC season with their 19th win in conference play. As mentioned, Wake will be the three seed in the ACC, behind only division champions Louisville and North Carolina.
Wake’s opponents in their three-team pod will not be determined until all the ACC games for the day have been completed, but at this point the six seed will be Miami, N.C. State or Clemson.
Check in over the next week here as Blogger So Dear has comprehensive coverage of the ACC baseball tournament. The Deacs will advance from pool play into the semifinals if they win both games against the 6 and the 10 seeds, or if they beat the team which wins the opening game of the pod between the 6 and 10 seed.
Wake finishes the regular season at 38-17 (19-11 ACC) while Pittsburgh’s season concludes with a 23-30 (9-21 ACC) record.