NC State caps its 5-0 week off with a three game sweep over visiting Furman

NC State (7-1) continued its hot start to the 2018 season with three impressive wins over Furman (3-4) at Doak Field.

Game One: NC State 10, Furman 0

Senior left-handed pitcher Brian Brown (2-0, 0.69 ERA) put on a dominant performance on the mound while the Wolfpack bats went to town on the Paladins’ pitching as NC State shut out Furman Friday afternoon, 10-0.

Brown held the visiting Paladins to three hits in seven innings of work. The Glenmoore, Pa. native struck out eight batters before sophomore right-hander Michael Bienlien and sophomore southpaw Connor Centala relieved him with an inning each. Furman went quietly with Bienlien and Centala while the former recorded two strikeouts.

Junior left fielder Brett Kinneman catalyzed the Pack’s offense as the York, Pa. native finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate with two home runs, two runs scored, and five runs batted in. Senior center fielder Josh McLain added a 2-for-5 performance with a double, a run scored, and three RBI.

Following three scoreless innings, NC State got on the board in the fourth inning. Freshman catcher Patrick Bailey reached on an error to start the frame. After senior first baseman Shane Shepard walked, senior right fielder Brock Deatherage bunted himself aboard to load the bases.

Redshirt sophomore third baseman Dillon Cooper plated Bailey with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, McLain doubled into left-center to drive Shepard and Deatherage home.

The Wolfpack padded its lead two innings later with five runners crossing the plate. Deatherage led off with a walk and used his speed to reach third base within the next two pitches. Cooper capitalized on Deatherage’s speed by easily driving him home with a single.

Freshman second baseman J.T. Jarrett followed with his first collegiate hit, also a single, that moved Cooper to third. McLain followed suit with a single of his own that drove Cooper in. Kinneman followed the three consecutive base hits with a three-run home run.

State’s final runs came in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff single by Cooper, the next two batters were quickly retired. Kinneman continued his assault at the plate with a two-run homer over the wall in center field.

Game Two: NC State 9, Furman 2

Kinneman picked up where he’d left off the evening before with a 4-for-4 showing in Saturday afternoon’s game in which the Wolfpack downed the Paladins, 9-2.

The junior outfielder added another home run along with two RBI and two runs scored. Junior designated hitter Evan Edwards also jumped on the four-bagger parade with a solo shot of his own, his first in a Wolfpack uniform. Edwards ended the day 3-for-3 at the plate while crossing the plate twice.

Graduate student right-handed pitcher Johnny Piedmonte (2-0, 2.08 ERA) hurled six innings en route to the win. Despite surrendering two runs, the Davidson, N.C. product only allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five. Freshman righty Reid Johnston followed with three innings of shutout baseball to pick up his second save of the year.

Making up from the shutout the day before, Furman scored its first run of the series in the top of the first inning. However, the Pack would answer with a run of its own in the home half of the frame. McLain and Kinneman led off with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Shepard hit a sacrifice fly to drive McLain in.

NC State added another run in the third inning. Kinneman and Deatherage drew back-to-back one-out walks before Edwards drove Kinneman home two batters later. The Wolfpack would extend the lead further two innings later.

Kinneman started the home half of the fifth with a solo home run, his fourth of the season. Deatherage followed the homer with a base hit. Two batters later, Edwards drilled a two-run dinger over the wall in center.

After the Paladins plated a run in the top of the sixth, State responded with another run in the home half. Sophomore shortstop Will Wilson led off with a single and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and groundout. Kinneman drove Wilson home with a single.

Two more runners came across to score in the bottom of the seventh. Shepard started things off with a walk and advanced to third on a base hit by Edwards. Sophomore catcher Brad Debo singled to bring Shepard home but got thrown out trying to extend his hit to a double. Advancing to third on Debo’s hit, Edwards came home on a sacrifice fly by Cooper.

State’s final run came in the bottom of the eighth. Jarrett, McLain, and Kinneman led off with singles to load the bases. Deatherage grounded into a double play, but Jarrett crossed the plate in the process.

Game 3: NC State 9, Furman 0

With the series secure, State made the bats come alive once again in Sunday’s series finale by clinching the sweep, 9-0.

Kinneman added another home run to his season total as he finished the contest 2-for-5 at the fish with an RBI and two runs scored. Deatherage and freshman shortstop David Vazquez joined the home run parade as well. Deatherage finished the day 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored while Vazquez ended up hitting 2-for-4 with a double, three RBI, and two runs.

Freshman southpaw David Harrison got the start but left after three innings of work. The Rocky Mount, N.C. native only allowed two hits and three walks while striking out four Paladin batters.

Junior righty Nolan Clenney (1-0, 1.35 ERA) relieved Harrison and picked up the win after 3-1/3 innings of no-hit ball. He struck out three and walked four before sophomore southpaw Kent Klyman came in to pitch the final 2-2/3 innings.

The Pack got the scoring started with two runs in the second. Deatherage led off with a single, and Cooper followed with a ground-rule double. Junior catcher Jack Conley grounded out to drive Deatherage home. Vazquez followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Cooper.

State added two more runs one inning later. With one away, Kinneman launched a solo shot over the wall in right. Back-to-back singles by Edwards and Shepard then set up Deatherage to hit a sacrifice fly to drive Edwards home.

Continuing its trend from the previous two innings, the Wolfpack once again pushed two more runners across the plate in the fourth. Vazquez led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jarrett. McLain drove Vazquez home with a sacrifice fly. Kinneman followed the fly out with a single up the middle. After stealing second, Kinneman scored on an Edwards double.

Deatherage drilled a solo home run for the Pack’s only run in the fifth inning. State’s final two runs came in the bottom of the seventh. Conley reached on a one-out single before Vazquez hit his first collegiate home run over the wall in left-center.

The Wolfpack will return to action on Monday as Air Force comes to Doak Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.

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