Pack Blanks Blue Hens

Bienlien, O’Donnell combine for 10 strikeouts as NC State cruises to its seventh straight win.

Daniel Wilson

RALEIGH, N.C. — NC State (27-20, 11-13 ACC) secured its second straight series win with a shutout victory over Delaware (24-18, 10-8 CAA) Saturday evening at Doak Field, 7-0.

The Wolfpack held the Blue Hens to only four hits while capitalizing on three errors to take its seventh consecutive victory with eight games remaining in the regular season.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Michael Bienlien (3-2, 3.68 ERA) started on the mound for State and threw 5-1/3 innings of shutout baseball. The Chesapeake, Va. native struck out four Delaware batters and only surrendered two hits and two walks.

Senior right-hander Joe O’Donnell threw the final 3-2/3 innings and struck out six Blue Hens en route to his fourth save of the season. The Wilmington, N.C. product only gave up two hits and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth inning with back-to-back strikeouts.

The Pack struck first with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Junior first baseman Stephen Pitarra and junior center fielder Josh McLain led off with back-to-back singles. The pair moved to second and third on a Delaware error on a full-count double steal before junior shortstop Joe Dunand drove them in with a two-run double into left-center field.

McLain led off the fifth with a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to extend the Pack’s lead. State would be held in check until it scored another run in the seventh. Junior right fielder Brock Deatherage led off with a single and advanced to second on a groundout before freshman catcher Brad Debo singled to plate the Burlington, N.C. native.

NC State tacked on its final insurance runs in the eighth as three runners came across to score. Freshman second baseman Will Wilson drew a walk to start the inning. After Wilson stole second, junior third baseman Evan Mendoza walked. Two batters later, redshirt junior Garrett Suggs, Deatherage’s defensive replacement, singled to load the bases. Wilson scored on a Pitarra sacrifice fly. McLain followed with a two-run double that drove Mendoza and Suggs home.

The Wolfpack will finish its series with the Blue Hens Sunday afternoon at Doak Field. First pitch is set for 1 pm.

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