With its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule looming ahead, the No. 8 NC State Wolfpack (12-2) downed Fairfield (3-5) Tuesday and Wednesday, extending its win streak to nine games.
Game 1: NC State 4, Fairfield 2 [Box score]
The Wolfpack downed the Stags Tuesday afternoon at Doak Field at Dail Park, 4-2.
Preston Palmeiro and Shane Shepard each recorded a home run in the win over Fairfield. It was Palmeiro’s third of the season and Shepard’s second. However, the two long-balls were the only hits the pair recorded in the game.
Andrew Knizner finished the day 3-for-4 at the plate while Josh McLain put up a 2-for-4 performance with a run batted in.
After Cory Wilder loaded the bases, Chris Williams (2-0) relieved him after 2/3 inning on the mound. Williams escaped the jam and pitched 4-1/3 shutout innings, only surrendering three hits and striking out one en route to the victory.
Evan Brabrand, Sean Adler, and Tommy DeJuneas pitched the final four innings, giving up one run, credited to Adler, while combining to strike out four and only giving up five hits. DeJuneas, who struck out two in the lone inning he pitched, notched his third save of the season.
After the Stags struck first in the top of the first inning, Palmeiro tied the score at one apiece with his homer over the right field wall. Three innings later, Shepard’s four-bagger broke the tie. State plated their final two runs in the sixth. Shepard drew a four-pitch walk to lead off before Garrett Suggs entered to pinch run for him. After another walk, Suggs moved to third on a fielder’s choice by Stephen Pitarra. He scored on a bunt single by Brock Deatherage. McLain plated Pitarra with a single up the middle.
Game 2: NC State 4, Fairfield 0 [Box score]
NC State continued its hot streak Wednesday by blanking the Stags at Doak Field, 4-0.
Ryan Williamson (2-0) struck out a career-high 10 batters in 5-1/3 shutout innings on the mound. He gave up only six hits and walked two before leaving with the win. Austin Staley followed and retired the only batter he faced before Will Gilbert finished the rest of the game. Gilbert hurled four strikeouts while giving up only two hits in 3-1/3 innings on the mound, collecting his second save of the season.
Deatherage shined at the plate for the Pack in the second game against Fairfield, finishing 3-for-3 with a triple, two RBI, a run, and a stolen base. Knizner was the only other State player with more than one hit Wednesday, ending the contest 2-for-4 with a run.
The Wolfpack first scored in the fifth inning. DeJuneas, starting in left field, reached on a two-out single before Deatherage plated him with his triple. Deatherage scored one play later when McLain reached base on an error.
State scored once again in the seventh inning. After Ryne Willard reached on a two-out single and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt, Deatherage knocked an RBI single up the middle, scoring Willard.
The Pack’s final run came in the eighth inning. With one out, Knizner and Chance Shepard hit back-to-back singles. After Joe Dunand flew out to right, Pitarra singled into center, plating Knizner. However, Shepard was thrown out advancing to third, ending the inning.
State will open up its conference schedule Friday at Doak Field at Dail Park where the Pack will take on Boston College. First pitch is slated for 3 pm.