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College World Series: Wake Forest Beats Stanford Behind Lowder’s Stellar Outing

 Matt Tallarini  |    Jun 18th, 2023 1:55am EDT

Wake Forest starting pitcher Rhett Lowder throws against Stanford in the first inning of a baseball game at the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday, June 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

OMAHA, Neb. – The No. 1 program in the nation, Wake Forest University, beat No. 8 Stanford University 3-2 on the second day of the 2023 NCAA Division I College World Series in Bracket 2.

Potential 2023 first round draft pick and Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year Rhett Lowder got the nod in the programs first game in the College World Series since the Demon Deacons won their lone national title in 1955.

Lower went 5.1 innings, allowing seven hits, two earned runs, walking one, striking out six and faced 25 batters. Wake Forest is now 18-0 on the season when Lowder starts. 

In the top of the first inning, Stanford’s Malcom Moore got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring center fielder Eddie Park for the first run of the game.

During the bottom of the second, Demon Deacons’ junior third baseman Brock Wilken drove a solo home run over the left field bullpen to tie the game up at one. The ding dong johnson also tied him with Florida’s Jac Caglianone for the most home runs in the country at 31.

Wilken’s 31st home run for the season also broke J.D. Drew of Florida State’s record set in 1997 with 30 for the most in a season by a player from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“It’s pretty special. First off I wouldn’t be able to do it without these guys next to me. They’ve given me all the confidence in the world. Over the past three years they’ve surrounded me with love and confidence to be able to go out there and be me,” Wilken said during the postgame press conference.

In the top of the third inning, Stanford took the lead when first baseman Carter Graham dropped a bloop single into right center field, scoring third baseman Tommy Troy to go up 2-1.

Cardinal starter Joey Dixon held off the offense of Wake Forest, as he threw four innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, walked three and struck out four.

The game was delayed in the top of the seventh inning for approximately 90 minutes due to lightning near Charles Schwab Field.

During the bottom of the eighth, sophomore designated hitter Danny Corona ripped a two-run single to center field, sending Nick Kurtz and Wilken in to score as Wake Forest took a 3-2 lead.

In the top of the ninth inning, Wake Forest relief pitcher Camden Minacci came in to the game to shut the door, getting Tommy Troy to ground in to a 4-3 double play for the final out of the game.

“We had plenty of opportunities throughout the day with runners in scoring position,” said Stanford head coach David Esquer. “… Could have got that same hit and widened the gap or extended the lead. And just weren’t able to do that, a lot because of the good pitching that they provided.”

Stanford will play at 2 p.m. EDT on Monday against Tennessee. Wake Forest University will play on Monday at 7 p.m. EDT in the winner’s bracket against LSU. All NCAA Division I College World Series games are on the ESPN family of networks.