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No. 2 Wake Forest powers past Louisville, 11-5

The series continues tomorrow at 1:00 PM at Jim Patterson Stadium

Nearly half-way through the conference schedule, Wake Forest (30-4, 13-2 ACC) appears that they are in a league of their own, off to their best start in conference play in the history of the program. Their firepower was on full display Friday night in front of 3,850 fans at Jim Patterson Stadium.

The Demon Deacons pounded out 16 hits, 5 of which were home runs, as Seth Keener (W, 5-0) raised his ERA to 0.77 on the season after allowing 1 earned run in 5 innings of work.

Justin Johnson (2), Tommy Hawke, Brock Wilken, and Pierce Bennett each went yard for the visitors, including back-to-back-to-back blasts in the 3rd inning from Wilken, Bennett, and Johnson. They never looked back after that point.

Ryan Hawks (L, 5-2: 3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 K, BB) was in cruise control after two innings, but it’s just a matter of time with this Wake Forest offense. Not many teams have been successful at quieting their bats this season.

Tucker Biven made his 10th appearance of the season, allowing 6 runs (2 earned), on 6 hits, and two strikeouts.

You have to tip your hat to Kade Grundy (3 IP, H) and Ben Wiegman (IP, H), who combined to keep the Demon Deacons off the scoreboard for the final 4 innings. That is not an easy situation to get inserted into, but they made the best of their appearances and gave the bats a chance to wake up. It just never happened.

Offensively, Christian Knapczyk (2-5, R) made up for 13 of Louisville’s hits on the evening. Jack Payton, Eddie King Jr., Brandon Anderson, and Isaac Humphrey each chipped in with a single of their own.

King gave the Cards an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a single through the left side, but Wake Forest quickly claimed the lead with the furry of home run in the top of the third.

Rhett Lowder (6-0, 1.84 ERA) will take the mound for Wake Forest tomorrow. Lowder is arguably the best college arm in the 2023 MLB Draft and is projected to hear his name called somewhere around 10-15 overall.

Riley Phillips (4-0, 3.63) will get the ball for Louisville in place of Greg Farone, who moved back to the bullpen. First pitch is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00 PM.