The Wolfpack’s 2018 season starts with a series win over Seton Hall.
NC State (2-1) will start its quest toward Omaha with two wins under its belt. The Wolfpack took the first two games against Seton Hall (1-2) on Friday before dropping the series finale Sunday afternoon.
Game 1: NC State 8, Seton Hall 4
NC State kicked off the season-opening double-header in style by capitalizing on a five-run sixth inning to take the win, 8-4.
Senior left-handed pitcher Brian Brown (1-0, 1.50 ERA) struck out five Pirates in six innings of work, only allowing one run en route to the win. Freshman right-hander Reid Johnston followed and gave up three runs, two earned, while striking out three in three innings on the mound.
The Wolfpack got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second thanks to a solo home run from senior right fielder Brock Deatherage. However, after a sacrifice fly by Seton Hall’s Al Molina to tie the game in the top of the sixth, NC State broke the game wide open in the bottom half.
Junior left fielder Brett Kinneman led off by reaching on a Pirate error. Junior designated hitter Evan Edwards singled to move Kinneman to third. Senior center fielder Josh McLain singled to plate Kinneman. Sophomore catcher Brad Debo followed with an RBI base hit to drive Edwards and McLain home. After freshman Patrick Bailey entered to pinch-run for Debo, senior first baseman Shane Shepard capped off the scoring in the frame with a two-run home run.
Deatherage drove in two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded, the Burlington, N.C. native singled into right field, scoring Bailey and freshman pinch-runner Devonte Brown.
Game 2: NC State 3, Seton Hall 1
Graduate student right-hander Johnny Piedmonte (1-0, 1.29 ERA) pitched seven strong innings, pacing the way for the Wolfpack to clinch the series against Seton Hall with the win, 3-1.
After the Pirates scored a run in the top of the first, Piedmonte commanded the rest of the way with seven strikeouts and no hits allowed after the first inning of work. Junior righty Nolan Clenney followed with 1-1/3 innings of work. After which, sophomore lefty Kent Klyman and redshirt senior right-hander Joe O’Donnell each pitched 1/3 inning to end the game with O’Donnell earning the save.
After a double by freshman designated hitter Terrell Tatum to lead off the bottom of the third, sophomore shortstop Will Wilson tied the game on an infield single with Tatum crossing plate on an error. Following a pop-up and back-to-back walks, Shepard popped up an infield fly to shallow left. Wilson scored on the play, but Debo was tagged out attempting to take third, ending the frame. The following inning, Deatherage led off with a home run, his second of the series.
Game 3: Seton Hall 8, NC State 6
The Wolfpack’s hopes for a sweep were dashed when a four-run, fifth-inning rally sealed the win for the Pirates Sunday afternoon, 8-6.
Freshman southpaw David Harrison (0-1, 8.31 ERA) gave up seven runs (four earned) in 4-1/3 innings on the mound to pick up the loss. He struck out four and only walked one. Clenney added an inning of work in which he surrendered a run. Freshman lefty Nick Swiney and sophomore righty Michael Bienlien shut out the Pirates for the final 3-2/3 innings.
Despite falling short, NC State made a strong push in the third inning, scoring all six runs in the frame.
Tatum and Wilson led off with back-to-back walks. Kinneman drove them both in with a double into left-center. Two batters later, McLain hit a two-run bomb to give the Pack the 4-3 lead at that point. Debo followed with a single and scored on a triple by Devonte Brown, who started at third base. Redshirt sophomore Dillon Cooper reached on an error to allow Brown to cross the plate, ending the Pack’s scoring.
The Wolfpack will next face North Carolina A&T on Tuesday. First pitch from Doak Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.