Seaver King (5) reaches base and celebrates towards the Wake Forest dugout. (Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)
Seaver King (5) reaches base and celebrates towards the Wake Forest dugout. (Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)

Deacons bury Dayton at home in weekend opener, 14-2

The victory was all thanks to an upset loss from UNC Greensboro earlier in the week

Wake Forest Men’s Baseball Head Coach Tom Walter said he found value in his No. 1-ranked team’s takedown to UNC Greensboro earlier this week. 

“I’m never glad we lose, but if we had come back and won that game, maybe the message doesn’t resonate the same as a loss did,” Walter said. 

The silver lining: an offensive explosion and 14-2 beatdown of the Dayton Flyers on Friday to open up the weekend series for the Demon Deacons. While Dayton was coming off their own upset win against No. 6 Vanderbilt, the dormant Demon Deacons’ offense appeared to have been jostled awake by their tough loss on Tuesday. 

“We needed to make some changes, which we did,” Walter said after the game. “We changed the way we competed during batting practice.” 

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The match started off with the two teams trading runs, but Dayton began to play aggressive once it became clear Wake Forest’s left-handed pitcher wasn’t exactly controlling the game. Hartle allowed two runs in the first three innings while multiple Dayton runners flung around the diamond and stole several bases in the third and fourth innings. 

“Josh Hartle [was] a little shaky early, didn’t have the command he usually has,” Walter said. 

But once Wake Forest came to bat in the bottom of the fourth, the Demon Deacons’ offense finally clicked. The prolonged inning featured a flurry of hits across the lineup — with three Wake Forest runners scoring before senior outfielder Jake Reinisch blew the score wide open with a grand slam. The Flyers made three pitching changes throughout the inning, but simply couldn’t prevent Wake from going up 9-2. 

“Happy to see the top of our order get going.” Walter said. “[Marek Houston, Nick Kurtz, Adam Tellier], those three guys had good days. Happy to see [Reinisch] have better at bats.” 

Third baseman Adam Tellier also had a great day hitting, drilling two home runs, including one 2 RBI homer inside the park during the fifth inning to extend Wake’s lead. 

“I think that’s gotta be a first for me,” Tellier said. “Being able to do that and drop some runs in at the same time was pretty fun for sure.” 

Wake Forest and Dayton will continue with their weekend series at David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m.

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