A great leadoff hitter can do wonders to a lineup, without it ever showing up on the score card. They can work long counts to start off the game, making the opposing pitchers show as many pitches as possible for the rest of the lineup to see.
Then again, they can be like Carl Chester and light up the score card.
The freshman from Longwood, Florida went 3-for-6 against the Demon Deacons which included a leadoff home run to get the game going. He also hit a RBI double the next inning, scoring Garrett Kennedy.
Coming into the game, Chester has a batting line of .278/.375/.433 with three home runs and 11 RBIs as well as seven stolen bases. He was able to add to each of those categories, as he fell just a triple shy of the cycle.
With Chester setting the table at the top of the order, it made it easier for the rest of the lineup to get going, as they once again jumped quickly ahead. By the middle of the second inning, it was 4-0 in favor of the Hurricanes.
Andrew Suarez started, and earned the victory, all though he was bested by the dangerous bats of Wake Forest on a few occasions. The lefty finished the night allowing four runs (three earned) over five innings while striking out three and walking one.
Will Craig continued to produce, hitting his eighth home run of the season and drove in a total of two runs on the night.
The success at the plate didn’t translate to mound, however, as the sophomore couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Craig surrendered seven runs (five earned) in 2 1/3 innings, striking out one batter and walking another two.
This continued an unfortunate trend for the Demon Deacons this weekend, having to dip into their bullpen early in each game this series, and putting pressure on either Connor Johnstone or Parker Dunshee, whichever of each gets the nod for Sunday.
Rare off Night for Hurricanes Bullpen
One of Miami’s pleasant surprises this season has been their bullpen. After extremely successful freshman campaigns from Cooper Hammond and Bryan Garcia, their continued success wasn’t as much a shocker as Michael Mediavilla.
The freshman from Hialeah, Florida had only allowed one earned run in 11 innings this season quickly becoming Jim Morris’ go to lefty out of the bullpen, especially with Thomas Woodrey making the transition to the rotation.
Both Hammond and Mediavilla, however, was abnormally hittable Saturday afternoon, with both giving up earned runs (Hammond two). In 2 2/3 combined innings both pitchers allowed six hits, walked one, allowed three runs and was unable to strike anybody out.
Wake Forest Show Depth Throughout Lineup
Entering the weekend series, both teams were the top two hitting teams in the ACC and have both shown the exactly why thus far through two games. While the Hurricanes have come out on the winning side in both games (scoring a combined 27 runs in two games), the Demon Deacons showed how strong their lineup is from top to bottom.
Every starter expect the nine-hole hitter, Drew Freedman, registered a hit and five different Wake Forest players’ recorded multi-hit games in the losing effort.
The teams will conclude their series on Sunday, with game time at 1 pm. Enrique Sosa (3-1, 2.48 ERA) is expected to take the bump for the Hurricanes while the Demon Deacons will likely send out Dunshee (3-0, 1.61 ERA) after not needing him in either of the first two games.