NC State earns its second series win of the season with an impending sweep on the horizon.
RALEIGH, N.C. — No. 6 NC State (4-1) staved off a late-inning rally to defeat Austin Peay (3-3) Saturday afternoon at Doak Field, 6-3.
The Wolfpack plated four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to put itself ahead enough to secure its first home series win of the season, extending its winning streak to three games.
“These were two really complete games against what I think is a really, really good team,” head coach Elliott Avent said. “They’re picked to win their league, and I can see why. It’s a real battle to play them.”
Junior designated hitter Tommy DeJuneas and sophomore catcher Jack Conley led the State offense with 2-for-4 performances at the plate. DeJuneas had a double, an RBI and a run while Conley doubled twice and scored twice with an RBI of his own.
Cory Wilder picked up the start and shut out the Governors in four innings of work. The senior struck out five batters while only surrendering three hits and a walk.
“For me, it was one pitch at a time,” Wilder said. “I just wanted to get ahead early. I got into some deep counts, which I didn’t want, but I think I came in pretty good. Only giving up one walk is always good.”
Mathieu Gauthier (1-0, 4.76 ERA) and Zach Usselman finished the rest of the way on the mound for the Pack. Though the pair gave up all three Austin Peay runs, they combined for six strikeouts to lock down the win for State. Gauthier earned the win with three innings of work.
Junior shortstop Joe Dunand started the game’s scoring in the bottom of the second with his first home run of the season. The solo shot was the Miami native’s 12th home run in a Wolfpack uniform.
The Wolfpack’s four-run fourth began with a walk to sophomore left fielder Brett Kinneman. After two outs and Kinneman advancing to third on a wild pitch and a stolen base, DeJuneas, junior first baseman Shane Shepard, and Conley hit back-to-back-to-back RBI doubles for State’s first three runs of the inning. Junior center fielder Josh McLain ended the scoring for the inning by driving in Conley on an Austin Peay fielding error.
The Governors were able to trim the Wolfpack’s lead to two before State added an insurance run in the eighth. With two outs, Conley kept the inning alive with a double and was able to advance to third on a wild pitch. McLain plated Conley with a single into right-center field to conclude the Wolfpack’s scoring.
NC State will look to sweep the Governors Sunday afternoon. DeJuneas will start on the mound for the Wolfpack with first pitch slated for noon.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence going into this game, and we’ve got a lot of energy,” DeJuneas said. “Now I’ve got to go out there and do my part.”