No. 3 Wake Forest Downs Duke, 5-3

The Deacons will face N.C. State at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

DURHAM, N.C. - The third-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons won a hard-fought battle from the Duke Blue Devils, 5-3, Sunday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. The Demon Deacons had to fight for every run, scoring three of their runs on sacrifice flies and a fourth on an infield single. Duke junior left-hander Kevin Perry took the loss in his first start of the season, despite turning in a solid performance. "Kevin Perry did a great job," Blue Devil head coach Bill Hillier said. "Brian Patrick did a good job. We played well. Wake Forest just played better. They shut down our hitting. We were in a position to win late in the game. I told Kevin that's what I wanted and I'm very pleased with what he did. "We came into this weekend wanting to play spoiler and we did that," Hillier continued. "Now we're going to go to the tournament and try to create some havoc. We're regaining our confidence. We beat the No. 3 team in the country and there's no reason we can't compete with everyone at the tournament." Wake Forest got on the board first Sunday with a run in the third inning. Ryder Mathias doubled down the right field line and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Brad Scioletti.

The Demon Deacons added a run in the fourth inning. Ryan Johnson led off with a single to right field and scored on a sacrifice fly to left Jeff Ruziecki.

Duke answered with three runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Sophomore Drew Jerdan blasted a one-out double off the wall in left-center field and freshman catcher Blake Walker singled, advancing Jerdan to third. With two outs, junior center fielder Doug Bechotld plated Jerdan with a single to right field. Junior right fielder Brian Patrick extended his hitting streak to seven games with a two-run double to right-center.

Wake Forest tied the game at three with a run in the fifth. With two outs and no one on, Scioletti singled through the left side and after advancing to second on a walk by Jamie D'Antona, scored on a single to right by Johnson.

The Demon Deacons reclaimed the lead with a run in the top of the seventh. Mathias led off with a single to right field and scored on a sacrifice fly by D'Antona. Wake Forest scratched across an insurance run in the eighth to go ahead 5-3. Ruziecki led off with a single up the middle and scored on an infield single by Adam Bourassa.

Perry made his longest outing of the year and the-second longest of his career, pitching 6.0 innings. He left the game after allowing two hits in the seventh inning. Perry scattered eight hits and three walks, allowing four runs and striking out two. He took the loss in his first decision of the season.

Ryan Braun improved to 2-1 for Wake Forest, giving up three runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings. Dave Bush pitched the final three innings for his conference-leading 13th save of the year.

Walker and Bechtold led the Blue Devils at the plate with two hits apiece, while Patrick and Kelly extended their hitting streaks to seven and nine games, respectively.

The Blue Devils (23-32, 4-20 ACC) and Demon Deacons (42-9-1, 17-6 ACC) concluded the regular season and will travel to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Duke will face Maryland at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the tournament. Wake Forest will play N.C. State at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

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