Feeney shines as the Wolfpack offense lights up the scoreboard against the River Hawks
RALEIGH, N.C. — No. 6 NC State (6-5) saw its three-game losing streak come to an end with a definitive shutout win over UMass Lowell (4-6) Sunday afternoon at Doak Field, 8-0.
In his first career start, freshman right-handed pitcher Dalton Feeney (2-0, 0.00 ERA) got the call to start for the Wolfpack and shut down the River Hawks’ offense, holding UMass Lowell to only two hits while striking out four.
“We played well mostly because Dalton Feeney put us in a position to do so,” head coach Elliott Avent said. “Dalton Feeney, for me, was the story of the game. He was exceptional.”
“I got my feet wet,” Feeney said. “I just wanted to compete and throw some strikes. I finally got going, and I’m proud of these guys for the win.”
Junior left-hander Brian Brown made his first appearance of the season with an inning of relief. The Glenmoore, Pa. native struck out a pair of batters while only allowing a hit and a walk before giving way to redshirt sophomore righty Tim Naughton who hurled the final two innings. Naughton surrendered two hits and struck out two batters, securing the shutout.
“It’s nice to see Brian back out there,” Avent said. “He was going to throw more because we need to get him back badly. Naughton was terrific too. His stuff is so unhittable. He just needs to gain more and more confidence, and I think he does with every time out there.”
Junior right fielder Brock Deatherage and freshman second baseman Will Wilson provided State’s only multi-hit performances. Deatherage finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored while Wilson ended the afternoon 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run.
The Pack got its scoring started in the bottom of the third. Deatherage led off with a bunt single, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior center fielder Josh McLain and to third on a passed ball. Junior designated hitter Stephen Pitarra plated Deatherage with a double down the left-field line. Wilson followed with a single before freshman catcher Brad Debo plated Pitarra with a sacrifice fly into center.
State tacked on three more runs in the fourth. After junior third baseman Evan Mendoza and Deatherage reached base on walks, McLain dropped a two-out double into center field to score both runners. Pitarra would plate McLain with a grounder misplayed by the River Hawk defense.
Junior first baseman Shane Shepard and Deatherage led off the sixth with back-to-back singles before Pitarra walked to load the bases two batters later. Wilson grounded out in the next at-bat, but it was enough to plate Shepard for the Pack’s only run of the sixth inning.
The scoring concluded with runs in the seventh and eighth. Junior shortstop Joe Dunand drilled his third home run of the season over the wall in left for the Pack’s single run of the seventh. After two strikeouts to start the eighth, Wilson singled into left and came around to score on a double off the wall in left-center by Debo.
The Wolfpack will return to action Monday against Western Carolina. First pitch from Doak Field is set for 2 pm.
“We feel good,” Deatherage said. “Getting this win was a big spark for us. Hopefully, we can keep it going with conference play coming up.”