WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Deacs fired on all cylinders Saturday, bouncing back from a gut-punch of a loss Friday to Georgia Tech.
Wake went yard three times and had 13 base hits as they topped the Yellowjackets 17-8 at David F. Couch Ballpark.
Wake Forest designated hitter Ben Breazeale delivered a two-out single to plate the first run in the bottom of the 1st, then the Deacs tacked on five more in the 2nd.
Meanwhile starting pitcher Donnie Sellers gave the Deacs six good innings, striking out five while allowing three runs on eight hits.
"The first thing that was important is that Donnie Sellers was sharp. He came out of the gate sharp, and we needed that,” Wake coach Tom Walters said. “After the loss last night, it Georgia Tech had come out and grabbed some early momentum it could have been one of those things where your confidence gets rattled and the dugout gets antsy. But Donnie Sellers got it done for us today and was outstanding. He was sharp.”
The Deacs were 8-for-16 at the plate with two outs, and were 11-for-23 with runners on base. They simply raked all game long.
“Two out RBIs were huge. It got us to 6-0 and gave us some breathing room. We did a good job of laying off some tough pitches,” Walter said. “Last night we were swinging at pitchers pitches. A perfect example is Gavin Sheets, who was winning to take a 2-0 pitch, then homer on the 2-1 pitch. That made it 9-1, which was essentially the ball game at the point.
Sheets finished 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs.
“That was a huge at-bat. If he swings at that 2-0 pitch he might pop it up or ground into a double play. Instead he homers there and we get on a roll,” Walter said.
Jake Mueller was 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs and three runs scored. He’s batting .351 on the season, and has went on a huge upswing since being moved to the 2-hole early in the year.
“The main reason I got moved there is because I have situational at-bats. I get a lot better pitches to hit and it’s paying off for me,” Mueller said. “My teammates are making it easy for me.”
Mueller got his first career home run in the 6th inning, a three-run blast to give the Deacs a 15-3 lead.
“It was a 3-1 change-up and I was looking for a pitch to drive there. I just wanted to put a good swing on it, and it just happened to run out of the yard,” Mueller said. “Everyone was pretty excited. I was the only one who plays consistently who hadn’t had one yet.”
The great weather and special promotions led to an announced crowd of more than 1,000 Saturday.
“The crowd was great and I loved the energy in our dugout today. We showed up at the ballpark today not knowing what to expect, but the clubhouse was loose,” Walter said. “Guys were energized. I knew we were going to play well based on how we were in the clubhouse. This is a team that believes in one another. I knew we would respond.”
Connor Johnstone (2-0, 3.45) will get the start on the mound at 1 p.m. Sunday for the Deacs in the series rubber match against Georgia Tech. The Yellowjackets will counter with freshman Jay Shadday (1-0, 0.63).
“So far we’ve responded, but we have to get this one tomorrow,” Walter said about his team overcoming the adversity they faced Friday night. “You have to hold serve at home. Tomorrow is another big game for us.”