NC State fails to rally back against tough Wake Forest pitching, falling in the Pack’s first ACC matchup.

Daniel Wilson

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — No. 20 NC State (7-7, 0-1 ACC) fell to Wake Forest (11-4, 1-0 ACC) in the team’s first Atlantic Coast Conference game of 2017 Friday evening at Gene Hooks Field, 6-4.

Senior left-handed pitcher Sean Adler (2-2, 4.64 ERA) picked up the loss after giving up five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two in four innings. Junior righty Tommy DeJuneas followed and hurled 2-2/3 innings of work. The Charlotte, N.C. native struck out four Demon Deacon batters while walking three, only allowing a run on three hits. Junior right-hander Evan Brabrand and freshman southpaw Kent Klyman finished the remaining 1-1/3 innings with only a walk allowed during that span.

After the Demon Deacons plated three runs in the bottom of the second, State plated its first run in the top of the third. Junior center fielder Josh McLain led off with a single. After advancing to second on a groundout and to third on a fly out, McLain scored on a double by freshman catcher Brad Debo.

Wake Forest tacked on two more runs in the home half of the third thanks to solo home runs by Gavin Sheets and Johnny Aiello. Trailing 5-1, the Pack responded with three runs in the top of the fourth thanks to junior first baseman Shane Shepard. After sophomore left fielder Brett Kinneman walked and junior shortstop Joe Dunand reached on a bean ball, the Wilmington, N.C. native launched a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right to cut the deficit to a run.

The Wolfpack, still trailing 5-4, staged a sixth-inning rally that set up a bases-loaded matchup between junior right fielder and left-handed batter Brock Deatherage and Wake Forest senior right-hander Parker Dunshee (3-1, 5.96 ERA). Kinneman led off the frame with a single. Two batters later, Shepard drew a walk. After an infield fly, McLain got hit by a pitch to fill the bags with two outs for Deatherage. In the at-bat, Dunshee threw a wild pitch to the backstop. Kinneman took off for home as the tying run, but home plate umpire David Savage ruled Kinneman out on the throw to the plate despite the video replay showing Kinneman’s hand beating the tag.

Dunshee picked up the win after six innings of work, striking out three and walking three while giving up four runs on six hits. Wake Forest sent Griffin Roberts to the mound to close out the win, holding the Pack hitless in three innings while striking out five to secure the save.

The Pack will return to action Saturday for a double-header against the Deacs. The first game is set for 1 pm.

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