Deacons Will Host NCAA Baseball Sub-Regional

Richmond, Navy, and George Washington join Demon Deacons Friday-Sunday at Ernie Shore Field

The Wake Forest baseball team, making its 10th overall and fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, will host a four-team sub-regional at Ernie Shore Field in Winston-Salem beginning Friday.

An at-large team, the Demon Deacons (44-11-1) are one of eight national seeds. Wake Forest was selected as one of 16 host sites. Joining the Demon Deacons this week in Winston-Salem will be No. 2 seed Richmond (49-10), No. 3 seed Navy (22-23) and No. 4 seed George Washington (42-21). Richmond and Navy will meet Friday at 2 p.m. Wake will take on George Washington at 7 p.m. The sub-regional continues with three games on Saturday and one or two games on Sunday.

"George Washington is a fine club," Wake Forest head coach George Greer said. "The Atlantic 10 certainly has a strong tradition in baseball and we look forward to playing them.

"It will be nice to play here in Winston-Salem. If it's any indication of 1999 when we hosted, then the stands will be packed and Ernie Shore Stadium will be rocking."

"We found out last year it's very difficult to play on the road, especially during the regionals," said junior outfielder Ryan Johnson. "That's when you get the most support, during the tournament. We established that (earning the right to host a sub-regional) at the beginning of the season and we accomplished that and we're happy with that. But we still have to play the games, and just because we're playing at home doesn't mean we're going to win. We should come out with a lot of excitement."

The winner of this weekend's double-elimination sub-regional will advance to a super-regional at a site to be determined in a best-of-three format on June 7-9. Eight super-regional winners will go to the College World Series to be played at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.

Wake Forest makes its 10th overall NCAA appearance and hosts for the second time. In 1999, the Demon Deacons hosted a sub-regional at Ernie Shore Field and advanced to a super-regional.

Wake Forest comes into the tournament three wins away from setting a school record for victories. The Deacons, ranked second nationally, have never been ranked higher.

Wake Forest owns the ACC's only national championship, a title earned in Omaha in 1955.

Winston-Salem Sub-Regional Schedule of Events:
Thursday: Practice Day / Press Conference Day 15-minute press conference to follow immediately after each team's practice session
#1 Wake Forest Practice: 10:00-11:15
#2 Richmond Practice: 11:30-12:45
#3 Navy Practice: 1:00-2:15
#4 George Washington Practice: 2:30-3:45

Friday:
Game 1 - Richmond vs. Navy 2:00 p.m.
Game 2 - Wake Forest vs. G. Washington 7:00 p.m.

Saturday:
Game 3 - Lose 1 vs. Lose 2 11:00 a.m.
Game 4 - Win 1 vs. Win 2 3:00 p.m.
Game 5 - Lose 4 vs. Win 3 7:00 p.m.

Sunday:
Game 6 - Win 4 vs. Win 5 1:30 p.m.
**Game 7 - Win 6 vs. Lose 6 5:00 p.m. ** if necessary

More from outfielder Ryan Johnson: (on going 2-2 last week at the ACC Tournament) "I think that we saw what we need to do to step up to that level, to be the No. 1 team in the nation. We need to get some more timely hitting, for some balls to drop here and there."

More from head coach George Greer: "I thought we played very well in St. Petersburg (at the ACC Tournament). We did not commit errors, we got hitting, we got the long ball back in our swings and we really had just two bad innings. But we're ready to go out and begin the new season.

(on having NCAA Tournament experience) "I think that helps us. Our kids already knew what time they were going to practice. They knew what the format would be. There wasn't a lot of hype from them when the pairings were announced, we knew we would be in and were just hoping to host. We were fortunate and pleased to get a national seed."

(on the tough ACC schedule preparing for the NCAAs) "It does help. But good pitching can beat good hitting at any time. So, we're very respectful of our opponent. They (GWU) won 41 games this season, so they must have a very good ballclub."


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