The Tigers pounce on the Wolfpack pitching to end NC State’s eight-game ACC winning streak.
RALEIGH, N.C. — After securing the series win over No. 14 Clemson (39-17, 17-13) Friday evening, NC State (33-22, 16-14 ACC) drops its regular season finale to the Tigers Saturday afternoon at Doak Field, 15-6.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Michael Bienlien (3-3, 4.53 ERA) started the game for the Wolfpack and was chased off the mound after giving up five runs in 2-1/3 innings. The Chesapeake, Va. native struck out two and surrendered four hits and two walks during his tenure on the bump.
State used a carousel of relievers against Clemson’s offense as the team sent eight pitchers to the mound. Redshirt sophomore right-hander Austin Staley lasted the longest on the rubber with 2-2/3 innings of work while redshirt sophomore righty Tim Naughton pitched 1-1/3 innings.
Freshman righty Dalton Feeney, senior righty Cory Wilder, junior righty Tommy DeJuneas, freshman southpaw Kent Klyman, redshirt junior lefty Cody Beckman, and freshman right-hander Mathieu Gauthier also came to pitch against the Tigers.
The Pack struck first in the bottom of the first. Junior first baseman Stephen Pitarra reached base on a Clemson error that put him on second. Junior center fielder Josh McLain singled to move Pitarra to third. Two batters later, freshman designated hitter Brad Debo drove Pitarra home with a sacrifice fly.
The Tigers took the lead with five runs in the top of the third and scored runs in the fifth and sixth before State trimmed the deficit with four runs in the sixth. Debo led off the frame with a double. Freshman second baseman Will Wilson followed with a single before junior third baseman Evan Mendoza singled to bring Debo home. After sophomore left fielder Brett Kinneman walked to load the bases, sophomore pinch-hitter Christian Demby walked to plate Wilson two batters later. Pitarra drove home Mendoza and Kinneman with a two-run single into center to cut the Tigers’ lead to two.
Clemson recovered from the four-run Wolfpack sixth by plating six runs in the seventh and two runs in the eighth. NC State managed to drive home another run in the bottom of the eighth to conclude its scoring. Senior Garrett Suggs, Demby’s pinch-runner in the sixth inning, led off with a walk. McLain reached on a one-out single. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, Suggs scored on a passed ball.
NC State will continue its season next week in Louisville, Ky. as the Wolfpack will compete in the 2017 ACC Baseball Championship Tournament. The first game of the tournament will start Tuesday at 11 am. The Wolfpack’s schedule has yet to be determined.