WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — No. 15 Wake Forest set a pair of program records in a series-opening 7-4 win over Pittsburgh at David F. Couch Ballpark on Thursday night.
The Demon Deacons (37-16, 18-10 ACC) set a new program record with 18 ACC wins, surpassing the previous mark of 17 set in 2002.
Additionally, starter Parker Dunshee broke John Hendricks’ (1996-99) career strikeout record of 312, recording his 313th all-time in his fifth and final inning of work – his fifth strikeout of the game.
Dunshee battled through a rough start to earn the win and improve to 9-1 this year. He allowed four runs on seven hits, but left with a 5-4 lead.
Colin Peluse struck out three in 3.0 innings of shutout, one-hit ball to keep the Deacs in front.
Griffin Roberts entered in the ninth and after hitting the leadoff batter and walking the next to bring the tying man to the plate, he tallied a strikeout and game-winning double play.
Jake Mueller went 3-for-5, Ben Breazeale was 2-for-4 with a homer and Jonathan Pryor had a hit and two RBIs to lead the offense.
The Panthers (22-29, 8-20 ACC) scored two in the first behind a Jacob Wright triple and Frank Maldonado double.
Pitt pulled its starter with one out in the second after walks to Gavin Sheets and Johnny Aiello and a Bruce Steel single. Against projected Saturday starter Dan Hammer, Keegan Maronpot hit a sacrifice fly to cut the margin to 2-1.
Then, Logan Harvey and Pryor were hit by pitches back-to-back to tie the game, a wild pitch gave the Deacs the lead and a Mueller RBI single made it 4-2.
Pitt answered right back with a two-run homer by Nick Banman to tie it at 4-4 before the Deacs took the lead for good when Breazeale blasted a solo shot off the video board in the bottom of the third.
Wake Forest added a pair of runs with consecutive two-out rallies in the seventh and eighth inning.
In the seventh, Mueller singled with two away, stole second and scored when Stuart Fairchild lined an 0-2 pitch into left field, making the lead 6-4.
The situation replayed itself in the eighth, when Logan Harvey drew a two-out walk. Pinch runner Nick DiPonzio stole second and scored on a Pryor single up the middle as the advantage increased to 7-4.
MORE RECORDS ON DECK?
• With Ben Breazeale’s solo homer on Thursday, Wake Forest now has 89 homers this season, tied with 1992 for second-most all-time. The record is 90 home runs, set in 1999.
• After totaling nine strikeouts Thursday, the Deacs have 470 as a team this year. That mark is second all-time, trailing only the mark of 482 in 1998.
PELUSE IN THE PEN
• Since moving into the bullpen beginning with the April 22 game at Clemson, Colin Peluse has surrendered just one run and three hits in 11.0 innings, striking out 11.
• With one more relief outing early in the season, his ERA dropped to 0.75 when coming out of the pen and is down to 3.78 overall.
• Wake Forest and Pitt close out the regular season with games on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon.
• The Deacs will honor their senior class in a Senior Day ceremony Sunday at 11:40 a.m.
Story Credit: Wake Forest