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Fall World Series begins - What We Learned

Black topped Gold 4-2 in game one of the Wake Forest Baseball Fall World Series Friday night at the David F. Couch Ballpark.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Solid pitching from Parker Dunshee, Connor Johnstone and Colin Peluse helped the Black Team top the Gold Team 4-2 in Game One of the Fall World Series Friday night at David F. Couch Ballpark.  

“You’re going to win a lot of games when you don’t walk anybody,” Dunshee said. “C.J. (Connor Johnstone) did a great job shutting them down in the middle innings. That was huge. Then Colin (Peluse) coming back and showing some stuff after not having a good outing last week was good to see.”

Here’s six things we learned about the Deacs Friday night:

The Deacs discipline at the plate continues. Batters take pitches, foul away looks they aren’t interested in, and force the pitchers to work to try to get them out.

“I thought we had good at-bats today,” Wake coach Tom Walter said. “I thought our guys did a good job of hanging in there and battling.”

Freshman infielder Nick DiPonzio put Wake ace Dunshee to the test early, fouling off several in what ended up a nearly 10-pitch at bat before finally going down on strikes.

Speaking of Dunshee, he looked great in the start for the Black team, pitching the first three innings. He struck out five, with his fastball topping out in the low-to-mid 90s and throwing a sweet slider in the mid-80s. There were a couple scouts at the ballpark tonight, and their speed guns were working overtime when Dunshee was on the mound.

Dunshee and fellow starting pitcher Drew Loepprich were team captains and as such, drafted their teams. Dunshee took slugger Gavin Sheets with the first pick, and looked for experience.

“I was looking for experienced guys. I like where our team is at,” Dunshee said. “I like our team, and it’s pretty upperclassmen-heavy, which is usually good in the Fall World Series.”  

“Some might question his drafting strategy,” Dunshee said jokingly about Loepprich. “But I was fine with it.”

The top of the lineup did most of the damage for Dunshee’s Black team, with freshman Patrick Frick going 4-for-5 at the plate. He also had a sacrifice bunt, a run scored and an RBI.

Sophomore shortstop Johnny Aiello batted second for the Black team and added a pair of hits and two stolen bases.

“Frick and had big days offensively for the Black team and it was enough for the win,” Walter said.

Sophomore catcher Logan Harvey hit a solo shot for the Gold Team

Walter was pleased with the pitching Friday, as the load was shared between returning players and freshman. Senior Connor Johnstone went four innings for the Black team, giving up no runs on three hits while getting one strikeout.

“Connor Johnstone came in and did a great job,” Walter said. “He pitched four shutout innings and gave his team a chance to win.”

Freshmen Morgan McSweeney, Carter Bach and Colin Peluse all went two innings on the mound, with Peluse earning the save.

“It was good to see Carter Bach and Colin Peluse bounce back today,” Walter said. “They both had rough outings last week, and that’s a hard lesson for freshmen to learn. You have to pitch to contact, and they did that today.

“Three freshmen pitched today, and I thought they all did a nice job.”

Donnie Sellers played first base Friday, and may be utilized in the field and at the plate this season. Walter plans to transition Sellers to a starting pitcher, but may use him in multiple ways this year additionally.

“I think we’re going to use him defensively,” Walter said. “It’s early to know if he can help us with the bat or not, but he can clearly help us on the bases and with his defense. If the bat comes along, then maybe he’ll see more regular time. If nothing else, then we will use him as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.”


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