"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Offense fires, Burns scorches as Wake Forest wins first ACC series of the season

The Demon Deacons took the first two games in their series with Louisville
Wake+Forest+RHP+Chase+Burns+%2829%29+winds+up+at+the+mound+for+a+pitch+against+Dayton+on+Feb.+24.+Burns+pitched+12+strikeouts+against+Louisville+on+Friday.
Lingran Hu
Wake Forest RHP Chase Burns (29) winds up at the mound for a pitch against Dayton on Feb. 24. Burns pitched 12 strikeouts against Louisville on Friday.

No. 12 Wake Forest baseball was elite through all phases of their play this weekend. 

Dominating on offense with a 16-run blowout on Thursday followed up by a 12-strikeout firestorm on Friday, the Demon Deacons won two games to secure their weekend homestand against Louisville, their first in the ACC this season. 

Wake Forest took their first win on Thursday, setting the offensive tone for the weekend behind a season-high 16-run performance. 

In his first start for the Demon Deacons, transfer right fielder Mitchell Salvino posted three hits and four RBI. He and fellow transfer shortstop Seaver King combined for seven of Wake’s RBI on the day. 

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That was a great win, and we needed that,” Wake Forest Baseball Head Coach Tom Walter said after the game. “We needed to win on Thursday. Obviously, we haven’t done that yet this year in the league.” 

Walter also complimented his starting RHP and junior team captain Josh Hartle for his resilience throughout the game, despite Wake Forest allowing Louisville to score all seven of their runs in just the third and fourth innings. 

“I’m really happy with how Josh responded.” Walter said. “In the fifth inning, he got a big shutdown inning, then asked for the ball in the sixth and delivered another three up, three down inning.” 

On Friday, Chase Burns gave Wake Forest their sixth win with him at the mound, as the Demon Deacons defeated the Cardinals 5-1. 

Another junior transfer, Burns scorched the visitors with his 12 strikeouts, becoming the first Demon Deacon in history to have three consecutive games with 12 or more Ks. Coming off of a 109-pitch win over No. 9 Virginia last weekend, Walter noted that Burns had missed several practices this week due to illness. Burns now remains undefeated when starting for Wake, an d has an ERA rate of 1.93. 

We couldn’t get off the field in the seventh and ninth innings which ended up being the difference in the game.

— Tom Walter, Wake Forest Baseball Head Coach

[Burns] didn’t have his good fast ball today and struck out 12, didn’t walk anyone and gave up three hits,” Walter said after the win. “I’m just so impressed with his outing today.” 

After securing the series, the Demon Deacons fell short of completing the sweep on Saturday. 

Senior Jake Reinisch batted in two runners to give Wake Forest a lead through the first four innings, and Wake Forest kept up a solid defensive pace before letting Louisville score five runs in just three innings. The defense simply fell apart in the final innings while Wake Forest’s hitting went dormant. 

“We couldn’t get off the field in the seventh and ninth innings which ended up being the difference in the game,” Walter said after the loss. 

Noticeably absent from the match were star first baseman Nick Kurtz and sophomore infielder Marek Houston. Walter provided an update on their status after the loss to Louisville on Saturday. 

Both Kurtz and Houston said they could have played today, but neither of them were cleared,” Walter said. 

The two infielders will be critical for the Demon Deacons to have back both on defense and in the batting order as they look forward to a weekend series with ACC rival No. 14 North Carolina, who ranks second in the ACC in ERA, allowing just 3.93 runs per game on average. 

Before then, Wake Forest will play Liberty University away at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

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About the Contributor
Andrew Braun, Sports Editor
Andrew is a freshman from Wrightsville Beach, N.C. intending to major in politics and international affairs and minor in journalism. Outside of the OGB, he is a member of a capella group Innuendo and Model United Nations. In his free time, you can find him playing bass and guitar, watching only the most obscure NBA matchups and paddle surfing at the beach.

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