After a six-game road trip, No. 14 NC State (20-9, 5-5 ACC) returned home to Doak Field at Dail Park to beat down Charlotte Tuesday evening, 7-3.
“We came out ready to play today,” Brock Deatherage said. “We had some big hits and good at-bats. We’re seeing the ball well as a team. We put all of the pieces together for an overall good game.”
Cory Wilder (1-1, 5.73) started on the mound for the Wolfpack and shut down the 49ers for six innings. He only allowed four hits while striking out two en route to the win.
“I’ve been waiting on this kind of outing all year,” Wilder said. “I’m glad it finally came. I knew I had good command of my fastball, and they were swinging early. I took advantage of that and let them get themselves out.”
Kyle Smith, Austin Staley, and Chris Williams followed Wilder and gave up three runs in 1-2/3 innings before Will Gilbert hurled the final 1-1/3 innings to secure his fifth save of the season. The four relievers combined to throw six strikeouts, including three by Gilbert alone.
Deatherage and Chance Shepard led the Pack’s offense on Tuesday. Deatherage was 2-for-3 with two runs scored while Shepard went 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles, two runs scored, and a run batted in.
State took the lead early with a run in the first inning. Deatherage reached base with a one-out single. After he stole second, Andrew Knizner drove him in with a single into center field.
“The early lead helped a lot,” Wilder said. “That helped me go out to the mound and attack.”
The Pack padded its lead with two runs in the second. After Preston Palmeiro got hit by a pitch, Shepard launched a double into the left field corner to plate Palmeiro, advancing to third on a fielding error. Brett Kinneman followed with a groundout, scoring Shepard on the play.
Joe Dunand tacked on another run for the Pack in the third with an RBI double. Deatherage, who reached base on a one-out single and stole another base in the inning, crossed the plate on the two-bagger.
State added another run in the sixth thanks to yet another RBI groundout by Kinneman. Palmeiro, who led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a Shepard double, crossed the plate on the play.
After the 49ers plated a run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth, the Pack retaliated in the bottom of the eighth with two more runs. After Shepard drew a one-out walk, Kinneman drilled an RBI double into left-center. Evan Mendoza followed with an RBI single up the middle to plate Kinneman.
The Wolfpack will return to action on Friday as it opens its three-game series with Wake Forest at 6:30 pm. Johnny Piedmonte (0-2, 3.86 ERA) has been named the starter for Friday’s game, per head coach Elliott Avent.
“I feel good about where this team is headed, ” Avent said. “It’s a long grind throughout the entire season, and you go through different phases as a ball club. I like where we are right now.”