After last Friday’s game against Florida State and having the other two games against the Seminoles rained out, No. 17 NC State (17-8, 3-4 ACC) dominated Charlotte (12-13, 3-3 C-USA) at BB&T Ballpark Tuesday evening, 7-1.
“It’s something about a special ballpark and a crowd that gets the players’ focus turned up a notch,” head coach Elliott Avent said. “Our focus on at-bats were very good for the most part, and our pitching stayed ahead for the majority of the night.”
Brian Brown (2-0, 2.96 ERA) started for the Wolfpack after having his weekend start rained out. He picked up the win after three innings of work, striking out three and walking one without allowing a hit. Johnny Piedmonte added another inning of no-hit pitching. Piedmonte only allowed a walk in his outing.
“It just like a usual start,” Brown said. “It was awesome pitching here. It has a surreal atmosphere. I could have pitched longer, but three innings was all I was intending to throw.”
Andrew Knizner and Joe Dunand led the way offensively for State. Knizner was 2-for-4 with a run while Dunand was 2-for-5 with a three-RBI base hit in the fourth.
Ryan Williamson, Austin Staley, Cody Beckman, Will Gilbert, and Tommy DeJuneas finished the rest of the way on the mound for the Pack. The five pitchers combined to throw five innings, only allowing one run on five hits while striking out seven 49ers.
State got on the scoreboard early after loading the bases in the top of the first inning. Stephen Pitarra scored on a wild pitch, but the inning ended with Josh McLain getting thrown out heading back to third, tripping once he reached the bag.
“You always want to get an early lead,” Dunand said. “It got our momentum going, and it helped our pitchers settle down and did their thing.
Dunand’s three-run hit in the fourth pushed the Pack further ahead, and the Wolfpack added another run one inning later. Chance Shepard plated Pitarra, who led off the inning with a base hit, with a one-out single into left field.
The Pack added runs in the eighth and ninth to pad its lead. After Brock Deatherage and Dunand led off the eighth with a walk and a double respectively, Pitarra plated Deatherage two batters later with a groundout to third. In an inning that involved three pitching changes for Charlotte, State’s run in the ninth scored thanks to Deatherage getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Knizner.
The Wolfpack will return to action on Friday as the team will travel to Charlottesville to face No. 20 Virginia in a three-game series. First pitch for Friday’s game is slated for 6:30 pm.
“Every mid-week game like is huge going into a big weekend,” Dunand said. “Virginia is a tough environment to play in, but this was a great team win.