NC State’s pitching carousel outlasts Virginia Tech’s offense in the Pack’s fourth straight win.
RALEIGH, N.C. — NC State (24-20, 10-13 ACC) secured the series win over Virginia Tech (20-15, 8-15 ACC) with a hard-fought victory Saturday evening at Doak Field, 8-6.
Junior third baseman Evan Mendoza and freshman designated hitter Brad Debo led the team offensively. Mendoza finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple, a home run, two runs batted in, and a run scored. Debo ended the game 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run.
The Wolfpack used six pitchers as its starting pitcher, freshman right-hander Michael Bienlien, was chased off the mound after giving up two runs on four hits and a walk in 1-2/3 innings of work.
Redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Cody Beckman lasted the longest on the mound for State with 2-2/3 innings of one-run ball. Beckman struck out four Hokies while allowing only two hits and three walks. Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Austin Staley followed with three strikeouts in 1-2/3 innings with one runner crossing the plate during his tenure on the bump.
Junior righty Tommy DeJuneas faced two batters before giving way to freshman righty Dalton Feeney (3-1, 1.80 ERA). Both of DeJuneas’ batters eventually scored, but Feeney held Virginia Tech to a hit and a walk while striking out two en route to the win. Senior right-handed pitcher Joe O’Donnell struck out two batters and walked one in a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his third save of the season.
State struck first with three runs in the bottom of the first. After a leadoff walk to junior first baseman Stephen Pitarra, Debo doubled Pitarra home two batters later. Junior shortstop Joe Dunand followed with a double of his own to plate Debo and scored on a Hokie throwing error.
Virginia Tech responded with two runs in the top of the second and tied the game in the top of the fifth before State reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Junior right fielder Brock Deatherage led off with a single. After stealing second and moving to third on a Pitarra bunt, Deatherage scored on a single by junior center fielder Josh McLain.
The Hokies once again tied the game in the sixth with the Pack taking the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman second baseman Will Wilson reached base on a one-out single before coming around to score on Mendoza’s triple.
Two Virginia Tech runs came in during the top of the seventh, giving the Hokies their first lead of the game. However, the Wolfpack refused to back down as NC State added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead for good.
Pitarra reached base on a dropped third strike. McLain followed with a walk before Debo singled to load the bases. Dunand drove in Pitarra with a sacrifice fly into center field. Sophomore left fielder Brett Kinneman followed up on Dunand’s RBI fly-out by plating McLain with a single into right.
After Virginia Tech was held scoreless in the top of the eighth, Mendoza led off the bottom of the eighth with his third home run of the season to give the Pack another insurance run.
NC State will look to sweep the series against the Hokies as the teams will return to action Sunday afternoon at Doak Field. First pitch is set for 1 pm.