WINSTON SALEM, NC – Often going by the pseudonym “Rake Forest,” Wake Forest proved the name to be true Saturday, knocking four critical home runs en route to an 18-5 victory over Wofford.
Additionally, every Deacons starting batter reached base in the win, and eight of nine registered a hit.
“The long ball was the story today,” Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter said. “We hit some home runs off their starter, who has become a good college arm. [I’m] pleased with our offensive approach up and down the lineup today.”
Justin Johnson and Lucas Costello got things going in the second and third innings with solo shots to left field. Then, trailing by one, Tommy Hawke tied the game with a homer off the scoreboard in the fifth. Later in the inning, Pierce Bennett rocketed the Deacs into the lead with a two-run blast of his own.
That's a baaaaaaad man— Wake Forest Baseball (@WakeBaseball) April 29, 2023
Deacs. Lead. pic.twitter.com/SPxCBAX0HS
“We have to play from behind,” Walter said of trailing early in the game. “We’re not going to play from the lead all the time. I was happy with how we responded immediately.”
The home runs were all fine and good at the start, but the sixth inning is when Wake Forest did its biggest damage, and it did so without the long ball. With 14 at-bats in the inning, the Deacs plated eight runs, thoroughly distancing themselves from the Terriers.
And, to tie a true knot on the game, Bennett Lee added a grand slam in the seventh to extend the lead to 14.
Starting pitcher Rhett Lowder had an up-and-down day, giving up four runs, two of which were earned. Lowder’s one true mistake of the afternoon came when he left a ball over the plate for Ryan Galanie — Wofford’s best hitter with a .442 batting average. Galanie took the pitch deep over the left field wall to even the game at two.
The other two scores were not against the junior — an error in left field plated a runner, and put the other in position to reach home on a soft single.
Other than the runs allowed, Lowder was clinical, punching out seven in six innings.
“Rhett probably didn’t have his best stuff today,” Walter said. “But he battled.”
With just two games in the weekend series, traditional game two starter Sean Sullivan followed Lowder in relief, closing out Wofford with seven strikeouts and just two hits in three innings of work.
The Deacs will close the non-conference weekend tomorrow at The Couch against in-state foe High Point. First pitch is set for 5pm on ACCNX.