Baseball clobbers No. 6 Coastal Carolina

The 11-1 victory brings Wake Forest to 35-6 on the season


Courtesy of WFU Athletics

Brock Wilken (left) was selected 18th by the Milwaukee Brewers

Avikar Khakh, Staff Writer

No. 2 Wake Forest (35-6, 16-4) got their revenge this past Tuesday, beating No. 6 Coastal Carolina (26-12, 13-5) by run-rule in seven innings with an impressive score of 11-1. 

Back in March, the Demon Deacons committed seven errors in a 13-11 loss on the road to the Chanticleers, their first loss of the 2023 campaign. It was different Tuesday night.

The Demon Deacons trusted junior Seth Keener (6-0) with the start. The bats faced Coastal Carolina’s John Kelly (0-1) and got right to work in the first inning. Junior Pierce Bennett singled to center field, scoring sophomore Tommy Hawke. Junior Justin Johnson followed up with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring junior Lucas Costello to make the score 2-0. 

In the third inning, the Demon Deacons extended their lead after junior Brock Wilken hit a historic solo home run to become the Wake Forest all-time leader in home runs with 59. His blast made the score 3-0. Later in the same inning, Bennett was walked in to score a run to give the Demon Deacons a commanding 4-0 lead. Similar to the Wake Forest offense, Keener continued his excellent pitching as he notched three strikeouts in the fourth. 

Coastal Carolina finally scored its first — and only — run of the game with a solo home run from senior Zack Beach in the fifth inning. Despite giving up the run, the Demon Deacons responded immediately in the bottom half of the fifth inning after junior Bennett Lee crossed home plate as a result of a wild pitch, making the score 5-1. With the bases loaded, junior Nick Kurtz continued his unbelievable hitting with a grand slam, scoring Costello, Hawke and freshman Marek Houston, extending the Demon Deacon lead to a dominant 9-1. 

At the start of the sixth inning, Keener’s day came to an end after sophomore Michael Massey came in to take over the mound. Keener finished his remarkable outing with five innings pitched, five hits allowed and six strikeouts. Eventually, with Coastal Carolina unable to mount a comeback, the Demon Deacons continued to overwhelm offensively in the seventh inning off a two-RBI double by Johnson, scoring Wilken and Kurtz. After Wake Forest took the dominant 11-1 lead, the game was then ended due to a mercy rule, giving the Demon Deacons a significant win over Coastal Carolina. 

After earning its 35th win of the season, Wake Forest will now look toward another mid-week matchup against Appalachian State at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, N.C. The game is scheduled to begin tonight at 6 p.m.