Baseball goes 2-1 against Boston College

Wake Forest is now the No. 28 team in the NCAA according to the USA Today rankings


Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Crawford Wade takes the mound against Boston College.

Essex Thayer, Sports Editor

 Following a solid mid-week victory against Coastal Carolina, a team that defeated Wake Forest earlier in the season, the Demon Deacons secured a 2-1 series win over Boston College in Chestnut Hill. 

The victories moved Wake Forest to 21-7 on the season and 6-6 in conference play, good for fourth place in a strong Atlantic division. The Demon Deacons were also in third place in the “also receiving votes” section of the USA Today Poll, effectively ranking them as the No. 28 college baseball team in the country.

In a 15-10 Friday win, Wake Forest was powered by their offense. Sophomore Brock Wilken hit two home runs in the victory, notching seven RBIs. Redshirt junior Brendan Tinsman also performed well, knocking four hits for three RBIs. 

The victory marked the second-fastest time in program history for the team to reach 20 wins and the fastest time in Coach Tom Walter’s career in Winston-Salem.

On Saturday, the Demon Deacons were once again successful at the plate in a 20-8 win. Three batters had over two hits. Redshirt junior Michael Turconi led the team with four hits for six RBIs, while freshman Tommy Hawke secured three hits with one RBI. Wilken again showcased his big-hit ability with his third home run in two games. 

To close the series, Wake Forest did not reach double-digit runs for the first time against the Eagles, losing 7-6. Sophomore starting pitcher Teddy McGraw was tagged with six earned runs. 

In the first inning on Friday, Boston College got on sophomore starting pitcher Rhett Lowder, scoring four runs. After a double to begin the inning, two additional Eagles got on base with an error and a hit-by-pitch. A double play then brought in the first score of the game. Following a single to bring in the second run, a two-run home run brought in the final two.

“I was really proud of the way Rhett battled,” Walter said after the game. “We dropped a fly ball there in the first inning and it ended up costing us a four-spot. [Lowder] made two bad pitches and Boston College made us pay for it. They’re a good offensive club.” 

Wake Forest did not respond to the early onslaught by Boston College until the fifth inning, when one hit brought the game back to even. With redshirt sophomore Pierce Bennett, freshman Nick Kurtz and Hawke reaching base, Wilken knocked a deep grand slam to left field. The Demon Deacons did not score another run in the inning, but a once-dormant offense was awoken.

In the top of the seventh inning, Wilken struck again. With Hawke and Kurtz on base, he hit a second home run to left field, giving Wake Forest its first lead of the game. Following the home run, Turconi walked and was then advanced by a Tinsman single. A single by redshirt sophomore Adam Cecere then brought in Turconi. Then, with the bases loaded after a single by sophomore Jake Reinisch, Bennett was hit by a pitch, bringing in another run. To end their scoring in the inning, two additional runs were scored on a fielder’s choice and error, expanding the Demon Deacon lead to 11-4.

Following a two-run bottom of the seventh for Boston College, Wake Forest scored three runs right back. With Turconi on third base after a triple, Tinsman homered to left field. Then, Cecere scored on a balk. 

In the top of the ninth, the Demon Deacons added one additional run on a double by Tinsman. Despite a late, two-run push by Boston College in an attempt to mount a comeback, sophomore Camden Minacci came in to secure the elusive final out. 

After the win, Walter was pleased with the overall performance but was concerned with the ninth inning. 

“I am disappointed that we had to go to Camden Minacci at the end there,” Walter said. “It is what it is, and it’s a win on the road. It is always good to win on a Friday night in our league.” 

The following day, Wake Forest took far less time to jump on the Eagles’ pitching. In the first inning, Turconi knocked in Wilken, who reached base with a walk, for the Demon Deacons’ first run of the game. Then after another walk, two more players scored on a double by Reinisch. A Bennett single then brought Reinisch home. Freshman Danny Corona added to the scoreline with a triple that scored Bennett, and then Corona himself scored on a wild pitch, giving the Demon Deacons an early 6-0 lead from the inning. 

After a one-run first inning for the Eagles, Wake Forest went right back to work in the second. With Kurtz on base from a double, Wilken hit his third home run of the series to left field. Boston College added three runs in the bottom of the inning, reducing the Wake Forest lead to 8-4. 

After a quiet third inning, the Demon Deacons added more runs in the top of the fourth. With Hawke and Kurtz and Wilken on base, Turconi ripped a single to right field, scoring both freshman baserunners. Then, a Tinsman single brought home Wilken. With two outs, Turconi hit home plate on a Bennett single, marking the fourth and final run of the inning for Wake Forest. Boston College responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, which left the Demon Deacons with a 12-6 advantage. 

After each team added an additional run in the fifth inning, Wake Forest scored four runs in the top of the sixth. With Reinisch, Bennett and Corona on base, Hawke singled to right field, plating one. Then, a Kurtz walk, Wilken single and Turconi sacrifice fly each added another run. Boston College fought back with a solo home run, its last run of the day.. 

Over the final three innings, Wake Forest scored three runs. Turconi brought in two runs in the seventh inning with a double, and graduate Kyle Joye, a reserve on the team, singled in a runner in the ninth inning. 

“It was a good six-run first inning,” Walter said after the game. “That was the difference in the game. We grabbed the momentum early and didn’t give it back.” 

Despite a slower game with the bats on Sunday, Wake Forest was successful in the first inning for a second straight day. With Kurtz and Wilken on base, Turconi singled to right field, bringing in the freshman for the first run of the day. Then, a triple by Cecere scored Wilken and Turconi, giving the Demon Deacons an early 3-0 lead. 

Following a one-run bottom of the first by Boston College, Wake Forest added two runs in the second inning. On an infield pop-up by Turconi, a throwing error allowed Hawke to score. Then, a Tinsman single brought home Kurtz. In the bottom of the inning, the Eagles scored one run, reducing their deficit to 5-2. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Boston College took its first lead of the game. Following a two-run home run that brought the Eagles within a run, a single tied the game. Then, a sacrifice fly to left field scored the final run of the inning. 

Trailing 6-5, Wake Forest tied the game in the top of the fifth inning. After a double by Cecere, a single by Corona brought in the runner. 

The 6-6 score remained until the bottom of the seventh inning. With redshirt sophomore and closing pitcher Eric Adler on the mound, Boston College scored the final, and most consequential, run of the game, a home run to left field. In the final two innings, despite an “Immaculate Inning” — three-pitch strikeouts for all three batters — by Minacci, Wake Forest only got one runner on base, giving them little chance of mounting a comeback and ending their hopes of a series sweep. 

“It was a really disappointing day,” Walter said of the loss. “We didn’t have enough quality at-bats.” 

Wake Forest is left with another good opportunity at a series sweep this coming weekend when they return home to face off with Duke, one of the unranked teams in the ACC.