The Wake Forest Demon Deacons (42-18) notched three wins in three days to win the Winston-Salem Regional and advance to the Super Regionals, to be held this weekend (June 9-12).
The opponent and location of the Super Regionals is still up in the air, as No. 3 seeded Bethune-Cookman stunned No. 1 seed (and host) Florida in the first game of the regional finals to force a winner-take-all game tonight.
If Bethune-Cookman manages to upset Florida again then Wake Forest will host the Super Regionals this weekend. If Florida wins as expected then Wake will travel to Gainesville for the best-of-three series.
Tom Walter’s squad faced off against the No. 2 seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (36-26) last night in the regional finals. The Mountaineers defeated Maryland earlier in the day 8-5 to advance to take on the No. 1 seeded Demon Deacons.
The Mountaineers needed to win two games in a row against the Demon Deacons, while Wake needed just one win to advance to its first Super Regionals since 1999.
Despite a rain delay that pushed the start back a couple of hours, the fans showed up in droves to support the Deacs, and the Wake Forest offense put on a show.
Wake shook off a troubling trend of falling behind in the first inning, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning (the Deacs were the “road team” because the NCAA likes to make things overly complicated) with RBI singles from All-American Ben Breazeale and Johnny Aiello.
West Virginia would strike for a run of its own off of Wake’s Donnie Sellers on three hits in the bottom of the first as well.
The teams traded two runs a piece in the second inning before a quiet third gave way to the game-defining fourth.
With the bases loaded and no outs, centerfielder Stuart Fairchild launched a grand slam to put the Deacs up 8-3. A single and another home run just two at-bats later by Ben Breazeale put the Diamond Deacs up 10-3.
While West Virginia managed to get three runs back itself in the bottom of the frame, this was a lead that the Deacs would not relinquish.
Another home run by Fairchild in the fifth pushed the lead to 12-6, and then Colin Peluse and Griffin Roberts closed out the game for Wake Forest over the next four innings to send the team into a dogpile on the mound with a 12-8 win.
This is the second Super Regional in Wake Forest history, as the 1999 squad fell to eventual champions Miami in consecutive games. While it’s only the second Super Regional for the Wake Forest, it has also made two College World Series trips, but none since the title winning team in 1955.
There will be a lot more from Blogger So Dear this week on the Super Regionals once the opponent is known. We are all huge Bethune-Cookman fans tonight as we wait to see if they can pull over one of the bigger upsets in college sports history over Florida. That would give Wake a home-field advantage against a 3 seed to get to the College World Series in Omaha.
This has been a phenomenal year for Wake Forest athletics and the baseball team as a whole. The job done by the team and coaching staff is superb, and this weekend demonstrated how talented and poised this team is when the pressure is on.
We at Blogger So Dear are tremendously proud of the team and what it has accomplished and can’t wait for this weekend to see what else is in store for us!