WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Deacs clobbered their way to a 13-7 win Saturday at David F. Couch Ballpark to claim the weekend series over Notre Dame (15-19, 7-10), giving them a chance for their first conference sweep of the season Sunday.
“It’s huge at home. You have to win at home,” Wake Forest coach Tom Walter said. “It’s so hard to win on the road in our league. When you have home series, you have to win those. This is our first opportunity to sweep. We’ll see how we’ll respond to that.”
Wake (27-10, 11-6) scored multiple runs in five innings powered by four home runs. Gavin Sheets went yard twice, while Stuart Fairchild and Bruce Steel also provided four-baggers.
“When the wind is blowing like this at this ballpark, there’s going to be offense. You’re going to score runs,” Walter said. “That’s why when you get down early, you don’t worry about it.”
Hitters two-thru-six in the Wake batting order provided multi-hit games, with Fairchild, Ben Breazeale and Johnny Aiello all having three base knocks apiece.
“You go down the order, (Jake) Mueller through Aiello — two and three hits from each of those guys,” Walter said. “Any time you’re getting those type of quality at-bats, you’re going to find a way to score runs.”
Wake starter Donnie Sellers didn’t have his best stuff, giving up two 1st inning runs and lasting just 3 ? before being lifted for John McCarren.
“He just really couldn’t get it going today,” Walter said about Sellers. “That happens. You have starts like that. He’s new to this starting game. I feel like he hasn’t quite learned to pitch without his A-plus stuff. It was a sub-par outing for Donnie, but we know he will bounce back.”
McCarren held the Irish at bay while the Demon Deacon offense exploded for a trio of runs in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th innings to grab a 9-5 lead.
“The bullpen found a way to get outs,” Walter said. “Obviously the story of the day was getting it done offensively.”
The Deacs used five pitchers in the win, but didn’t have to utilize closer Griffin Roberts.
“Fortunately for us, we scored two to widen the lead (in the bottom of the 7th) and kept Griff out of the game,” Walter said. “It’s huge for tomorrow. For us to get a win today without Griff is huge. He would be good for three innings tomorrow.”
The Deacs will start Connor Johnstone (4-0, 3.08) against Notre Dame’s Brad Bass (2-4, 3.83) in the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.