Nick Kurtz of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons celebrates his home run against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the fifth inning during the ACC Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on May 26, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
DURHAM, N.C. – Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.
With rain expected to hit the Raleigh/Durham area tomorrow, the ACC Championship semifinals will be played simultaneously, with Miami playing Wake Forest at 1 p.m. at the University of North Carolina’s Boshamer Stadium. North Carolina will play Clemson at 1 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.
Showers are expected to start early in the day Saturday, building to a steady rain later that will continue through the night into Sunday.
So far, no changes have been announced regarding Sunday’s championship game, which is scheduled for noon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Wake Forest 7, Notre Dame 5 – A pair of solo home runs from Nick Kurtz and another from Brock Wilken pushed Wake Forest past Notre Dame on Friday night.
Kurtz and Tommy Hawke had two hits and two RBI each in the win.
Nick Kurtz got the Demon Deacons (47-9) on the board with a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the first. An inning later, Tommy Hawke doubled off the left field wall, driving in Bennett Lee, before being tagged out at third trying to stretch his hit to a triple. The run made it 2-0 Demon Deacons.
Notre Dame got on the board in the top of the third when Estevan Moreno doubled home Casey Kmet. They rallied to take the lead in the fourth when DM Jefferson’s double to the right field corner scored Brooks Coetzee and Brady Gumpf, who each got on base when they were hit by pitched balls. The Fighting Irish extended the lead in the fifth on an RBI double by Zack Prajzner.
Kurtz hit his second solo homer of the night in the bottom of the fifth, this time to deep center, to cut the Notre Dame lead to 4-3. Later in the inning, Brock Wilken scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, and two batters later, Tommy Hawke’s infield single scored Pierce Bennett, giving the Demon Deacons a 5-4 lead.
Wake Forest added another in the bottom of the seventh when Lucas Costello hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Bennett Lee to scamper home and make it 6-4.
An RBI single to left center in top of the eighth by Kmet scored Coetzee to cut the lead to one.
A few minutes later, Wake Forest’s Brock Wilken homered to left to restore the Demon Deacons’ two-run lead.
A Notre Dame win would not have advanced them to the semifinals, as the tiebreaker sends the higher seed among teams with with even records in the pool play portion of the ACC Baseball Championship. Wake Forest is the top seed, while Notre Dame was the eighth seed.
Miami 7, Duke 6 – CJ Kayfus had three hits, including a home run that led off the eighth inning and sparked a three-run rally that blew the Miami Hurricanes past Duke at the ACC Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park Friday.
Third baseman Yohandy Morales followed with a solo homer of his own two batters later, and Blake Cyr scored the winning run on an RBI single by Renzo Gonzalez. Carlos Lequerica went a third of an inning, allowing a hit and an earned run to earn the win.
Duke got solo home runs from Jay Beshears in the first inning, Luke Storm in the fifth, Alex Stone in the sixth, and a two-run shot from Storm in the eighth. James Tallon went a thor dof an inning, allowing three runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout to take the loss.
Saturday at the ACC Baseball Championship
1 p.m. – Semifinal 1 – Wake Forest vs. Miami – At University of North Carolina
1 p.m. – Semifinal 2 – North Carolina vs. Clemson – At Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Broadcast InfoAll games during pool play and both semifinals will be carried on the ACC Network. Each game will air live on Sirius XM ACC Radio channel 371.