If you wait, the offense will come — or at least, that’s still the approach for Wake Forest’s baseball team.
The Deacons dropped the rubber game of the season’s first ACC series with a 16-4 loss to Louisville on Sunday at David F. Couch Ballpark.
Pitching and defense weren’t anywhere close Sunday to beat a top-five team and send shockwaves through the ACC on the first weekend.
Pitching and defense weren’t the qualities set up to be the backbone of this team, though.
“Obviously Louisville is a really good team. We got a good start out of (Ryan) Cusick (on Friday night), a good start out of (Jared) Shuster (on Saturday), an OK start out of Will Fleming, so I’m happy with where our weekend pitching is,” Coach Tom Walter said. “And I’m happy with where our bullpen is too.”
Which leaves …
“We just need to swing the bats a little better,” Walter said.
Four runs Sunday was as many as Wake Forest (9-7, 1-2 ACC) had in the first two games combined against the Cardinals. For the weekend, the Deacons batted .200 (19 for 95) with 39 strikeouts. Five of the eight runs this weekend came on home runs.
“It’s warming up now, we’re on spring break,” Walter said. “So the guys will have some time to get their swings where they need to be headed into a big week for us, with Coastal Carolina and then Clemson coming here.”
The Deacons were coming off quite the rollercoaster of a win on Saturday night — after losing a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, grad transfer William Simoneit hit a walk-off homer to set up Sunday’s deciding game. All of that came after Wake Forest was being no-hit into the sixth inning.
Sunday’s game wasn’t much of one after Louisville’s seven-run fifth inning. That put the Cardinals (11-4, 2-1) ahead 11-0 at a time that Wake Forest had two hits.
“I mean, we thought we had this one coming into today. But obviously we lost momentum early, and didn’t do anything to change that,” said Chris Lanzilli, who homered Saturday and Sunday. “That one hurt.”
Wake Forest entered the season boastful of an offense that returned seven of its top nine hitters from the ACC’s top offense a year ago.
Through 16 games, the Deacons haven’t had a prolonged run of games with decent offensive outings — but it’s not time to panic about that.
Not yet, at least.
“Hopefully it’s a matter of time until they come around,” Lanzilli said.
And when does it become worrying that the Deacons haven’t been destroying teams with offense yet?
“That’s a good question,” Lanzilli said. “I mean, we should never worry, but always put the work in, I guess. I can’t tell you the answer to that question, you know? I don’t have the answer.”
“Hopefully you’re not asking me in two weeks. Hopefully we’re putting up runs. I’ll take the question, it’s reasonable.”