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Weekend Series Preview: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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NCAA Baseball: Nashville Regional-Vanderbilt vs Georgia Tech Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Season so far

The Yellow Jackets welcome a doppelganger team to the Flats this weekend, the hard-hitting Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Deacons are 14-3 on the season and 1-2 in the ACC. They took the Friday game vs FSU but dropped both games of a Sunday double header, 5-1 and 3-2. Their other loss was a 4-3 weekday loss at Coastal Carolina, their only true road game. Wake is currently ranked 3rd in the ACC in average, .325, just- ahead of the Jackets. They are ranked 3rd in slugging, 2nd in on base, 3rd in runs scored and tied with the Jackets for 1st in home runs. They lead the ACC in walks with 115. This Wake team is no slouch on the mound. They are currently 4th in the ACC with an ERA of 2.70 and have multiple pitchers under 3 ERA, including two of their projected weekend starters. The Deacs have given up no more than five runs in any game this season. They are holding opponents to a .206 average. Wake also leads the conference in batters caught stealing with eight.

Hitters to Watch

Wake has five players hitting above .300 and is tied with the Jackets for home runs with 32. Wake has four starters with more walks than strikeouts on the season.

Pierce Bennett - .426/.515/.519 1 HR 10 RBIs

Jake Reinisch - .400/.556/.667 3 HRs 16 RBIs

Brendan Tinsman - .370/.444/.704 4 HRs 11 RBIs

Nick Kurtz - .290/.436/.690 5 HRs 17 RBIs

Projected Rotation

Wake Forest’s rotation and bullpen has been an unexpected bright spot. Lowder has established himself as one of the top arms in conference and was excellent against FSU. Hartle struggled against the Seminoles but has been solid the rest of the season. Keener has stepped in as the Sunday starter after Teddy McGraw as lost to injury earlier in the season.

Friday: Rhett Lowder RHP 4-0 1.93 ERA 29 K 9 BB 1.08 WHIP

Saturday: Josh Hartle LHP 3-1 2.31 ERA 21 K 6 BB 1.26 WHIP

Sunday: Seth Keener RHP 2-1 4.76 ERA 12 K 2 BB 1.35 WHIP

The Wake bullpen has been a strength as well, there are five relievers with more than 6 innings who have an ERA under 3.

Conclusion

This is a good early season test for the Jackets. The arms will need to step up to try and contain an explosive Wake offense, and Tech will need to get their own bats hot early in order to force The Deacs to go to their bullpen early.