Wake Forest goes 2-2 in contests against Davidson and NC State

The Demon Deacons allowed 51 runs and scored 46 of their own across the four games 


Chris Lanzilli hit two big home runs to power the Demon Deacons to a game two win against ACC opponent NC State. The contest marked the first annual Demon Deacon Fight Against Pediatric Cancer game.

Jake Stuart, Assistant Sports Editor

4/27: Wake Forest 17, Davidson 12

In a midweek out-of-conference matchup, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons beat the Davidson Wildcats in a slugfest, 14-12. 

 Following another tough week that resulted in a trio of losses to ACC opponent Clemson and a win against out of conference foe Western Carolina, Wake Forest was in full pursuit of a successful week. The Demon Deacons started the week off strong with a big win against the Wildcats. The bats were rolling as the Demon Deacons hit a total of six home runs, backing up their “Rake Forest” persona. The team now leads the entire ACC with 65 on the season. 

In the first inning, Wake Forest scored three runs on just three pitches. Junior Michael Turconi, freshman Brock Wilken, and senior Bobby Seymour hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. For Turconi, the home run to right-field was his fourth of the season. Wilken then launched a bomb to left-field that made the score 2-0. His 13 home runs are the most in the nation for a true freshman. Additionally, the Valrico, Fla. native needs just four more home runs to tie the Demon Deacon record set by Jamie D’Antona in 2001. Seymour then crushed a 489-foot bomb to right-field to provide Wake Forest a 3-0 lead. 

In the second inning, Davidson scored a run of their own off a ground-rule double to make the score 3-1. The Wildcats added two more runs in the third inning to tie up the game off a home run to left-field by John Hosmer. 

The Demon Deacons answered back with a ferocious third inning. Turconi crushed a ball over the trees in right-field for his second home run of the game, giving Wake Forest the lead once again. He had three hits in the game along with four RBIs, and it was the first game in his career in which he hit multiple home runs. With the bases loaded, senior Michael Ludowig singled and sophomore Pierce Bennett was hit by a pitch as the Demon Deacons extended the lead to 6-3.

 In the fifth inning, the Wildcats retook the lead following a four-run inning that consisted of a triple, a single, and an error from Turconi, which made the score 7-6. Once again though, the Demon Deacons answered right back. 

 A fifth-inning Davidson error allowed Bennett to reach home and Wake Forest to tie the game back up at seven. One batter later, freshman Lucas Costello hit a three-run home run 404 feet to give the Demon Deacons a 10-7 lead. The leadoff hitter has produced a four-game hitting streak, including a hit in 20 of his last 23 games. He had two hits and four RBIs in the contest. 

A solo home run to right-field for the Wildcats in the sixth cut the lead to 10-8. 

 Wake Forest put pressure on in the seventh and added another run off a groundout from junior Brendan Tinsman, which extended the lead to 11-8. The catcher has played a valuable role since returning from injury and COVID-19 protocol just several weeks ago. 

 Fedje-Johnson doubled to left-field in the 7th inning, bringing in two Wildcat runs and making the score 11-10. 

 Seymour smashed another ball over the center-field wall, 431 feet, to bring home three Demon Deacons and extend the lead to 14-10. He is currently second in the ACC in home runs and has been on a tear as of late. He scored four runs and had four RBIs in the win. 

 Candelaria drove in two Wildcat runs in the eighth inning with a home run to make the score 14-12. 

 Three huge Wake Forest insurance runs were added in the eighth inning. The Demon Deacons had 28 base runners in the win and loaded the bases multiple times. 

 On the mound, starter sophomore Reed Mascolo lasted 4.2 innings and allowed four runs while striking out a career-high seven batters. The Demon Deacons are 7-0 when Mascolo is on the rubber, and he has a 3.01 ERA on the season. Freshman Teddy McGraw and senior Cole McNamee pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief to close out the win for Wake Forest, while freshman Camden Minacci picked up his first career win in relief. 

 “Reed Mascolo was solid. In the fourth inning, he threw the ball well,” Wake Forest Head Coach Tom Walter said. “I was really excited about how Teddy McGraw threw the ball late in the game, he’ll be a big piece for us down the stretch.”

 In the contest, six different Wake Forest players had a hit and two had a trio of hits. Turconi and Seymour. Costello, Turconi, and Seymour all added four RBIs to further cement their huge days. 

 “Obviously a good win. Offensively, we did a great job today,” Walter said. “Seymour and Turconi had big days. I thought the two big blows offensively were Costello, who hit the grand slam with two outs, and Seymour, who hit the three-run homer.” 

 4/23: Wake Forest 7, NC State 13 

Despite six lead changes and matching the NC State Wolfpack in hits, the Demon Deacons lost the first game of their home weekend series, 13-7. 

 Wilken opened the game just as he opened his freshman campaign, with a home run. The home run was his second in as many games and gave the Demon Deacons a 2-0 lead in the first inning. 

 NC State responded in the second inning off an error by Seymour. Austin McDonough added a home run of his own in the third inning and the Wolfpack tied the game at two. 

 Seymour answered back in the third inning with another Demon Deacon home run, a two-run blast to center-field that brought home Wilken and made the score 4-2. The batman and robin duo leads Wake Forest in home runs this season and sits atop the ACC. 

 The Wolfpack retook the lead in the fourth inning with a pair of home runs from Devonte Brown and Terrell Tatum. They wouldn’t keep that lead for long, though. 

 In the fifth inning, Wake Forest hit another home run courtesy of Seymour. Following a slow start to the season, the St. John, Ind. native has picked up steam. He had a total of three hits and three RBIs in the game, including a pair of home runs. It was the fifth time this season he has hit multiple home runs in a single game. 

 Tatum hit his second home run of the game in the sixth inning and tied the game at six. 

 Wake Forest scored a peculiar run in the bottom of the sixth inning to once again grab the lead. Sophomore Pierce Bennett scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-6. The mark was the last time the Demon Deacons would hold a lead. 

 The Wolfpack scored seven unanswered runs across the seventh and eighth innings to pick up the win. Three runs were added off a home run from Jonny Butler. The hill was too tall for the Demon Deacons to overcome. 

 “We scored in five different innings, and NC State scored in the next half-inning four out of those five times,” Walter said. “If you had told me coming into the game that Cusick would strike out nine, and give up seven hits, I would have told you we would win the game. If you score seven runs on a Friday, you should win.”

 In the loss, seven Demon Deacons had a hit, including multi-hit games from Wilken, senior Michael Ludowig, and Seymour. Wilken and Seymour both added a pair of home runs. 

 On the mound, junior Ryan Cusick had a decent start as he lasted 6.1 innings and threw nine strikeouts, giving up six earned runs but keeping Wake Forest in the game throughout. McGraw and McNamee combined for 2.1 scoreless innings of relief while Junior Brennen Oxford picked up the loss. 

 4/25: Wake Forest 14, NC State 11 

In the first annual Demon Deacon Fight Against Pediatric Cancer Game, Wake Forest won a battle against NC State, 14-11, to even the series. 

 The Demon Deacons put up their best start of the season in the much-needed win. Wake Forest scored eight runs in the first two innings to force an NC State pitching change. 

 In the first inning, Wilken hit into a fielder’s choice that brought home Costello and the first Demon Deacon run. Turconi and senior Chris Lanzilli both doubled to bring a pair of runners home and extend the Wake Forest lead to 5-0. 

 In the second inning, senior Shane Muntz smashed a three-run home run to left-center-field, his ninth of the season. With the long ball, the former ACC 2020 OPS leader extended his hitting streak to five games and the Demon Deacon lead to 9-0. 

 NC State responded in the fourth inning off a home run from Jose Torres that scored two runs. 

 Wake Forest added to the lead in the fifth inning off a sacrifice fly from Ludowig that made the score 9-2. 

 The Wolfpack scored six unanswered runs across the sixth and seventh innings – in large part off a Brown grand slam – to cut the Demon Deacon lead to just one run. 

 In the eighth inning, Costello extended the lead off a two-run single. With the bases loaded, Seymour walked home to extend the lead to 12-8. Lanzilli singled to center-field and brought home Wilken and Turconi. The score was 14-8. 

 NC State rallied in the ninth inning, but it was not enough to keep up with Wake Forest. Three runs were scored off a walk and a single that made the score 14-11. 

 In the marquee win, three Wake Forest players had multi-hit games: Turconi (3), Lanzilli (2), and Muntz (2). Lanzilli had four RBIs while Muntz added three of his own. Five Demon Deacons scored at least two runs in the game. 

 “First and foremost, what a great day with Alexius Dawson and her family,” Walter said. “Just really thrilled that she was here, and then to double it up to have (Prof) Barb Walker get recognized, that made it extra special.”  

 On the mound, Freshman Rhett Lowder picked up his second win of the season as he went five innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits. The two-time pitcher of the year in his conference and county allowed just one walk and struck out three. Sophomore Eric Adler pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief for the Demon Deacons. 

“We needed a win and we got it,” Walter said. “It wasn’t the prettiest win. We’re up 9-0, and the only way you lose a 9-0 lead is walks and errors, and we had a little bit of both. Give credit to NC State, they’re a good offensive team and they kept coming. Eric Adler came in and got five big outs and the offense did just enough.”  

4/25: Wake Forest 8, NC State 15 

In the final game of the ACC series against NC State, Wake Forest suffered a tough loss despite booming bats. 

 The Demon Deacons came into the rubber match looking to win just their second ACC series of the season. Wake Forest is 1-8 against conference opponents but has won four straight contests against out-of-conference opponents. 

 Wake Forest opened the scoring in the second inning with a pair of home runs. Seymour hit a home run to right-center-field and Lanzilli to left-field. In his four games this week, Seymour put up a batting average of .588 with 10 hits, 11 RBIs, and six home runs. 

NC State answered back in a big way with six unanswered runs between the third and fourth innings. Three singles and a two-run home run from Murr contributed to the 6-2 Wolfpack lead early on. 

 In the sixth inning, NC State added six more runs off a pair of home runs from Tatum and McDonough and a triple from Tresh that made the score 12-2. 

 The Demon Deacons finally answered in the sixth inning off a Turconi home run to left-field, his fourth of the season. Lanzilli and sophomore Adam Cecere both grounded out to add two more runs. 

 In the seventh inning, the Wolfpack added another solo home run, but the Demon Deacon rally was not over there. 

 Seymour launched a home run to right-field that brought home Costello, and Lanzilli hit a solo home run to cut the deficit to 13-8. It was Lanzilli’s second home run of the contest and fourth hit in the last two games. The left fielder has added a total of seven RBIs over that same stretch. 

 Despite the hot-hitting from the Demon Deacons, the Wolfpack added a pair of runs in the eighth inning to seal the deal and pick up the series win. 

 “We just didn’t pitch it well enough to win today,” Walter said. “Disappointing loss, obviously we had enough offense to win, just didn’t get it done on the mound or defensively.”

 In the loss, Tinsman and Seymour both notched three hits. Wilken also added a pair of singles. Seymour and Lanzilli hit for .407 in the series, and the duo went five-for-nine in the final game. 

Nine home runs were hit in the game, including four off the bats of Wake Forest. 

 On the mound, senior William Fleming got the start and lasted five innings, allowed six earned runs and struck out five. He gave up 13 hits and picked up his sixth loss of the season. McGraw and Minacci combined for two scoreless innings of relief. 

 After the 2-2 week, the Demon Deacons will return to the Couch for a pair of non-conference matchups against Liberty and Elon. After that is a weekend series on the road against ACC opponent Virginia.