Playing against the Heels in Durham for the first time since 2013, the Pack cruises to victory in the non-conference face-off.
NC State (29-7, 13-5 ACC) took the win Tuesday evening over bitter rival North Carolina (24-12, 12-6 ACC) at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, 8-3.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Reid Johnston (5-0, 2.61 ERA) got the start on the mound and allowed only one run in two innings of work. The Enfield, N.C. native came in with a pitch limit and was awarded the win for his performance.
Freshman left-hander Evan Justice followed with a pair of shutout innings of his own. Redshirt junior righty Nolan Clenney blanked the Tar Heels for an inning before ceding to sophomore right-hander Mathieu Gauthier who pitched in for two innings.
Sophomore southpaw Kent Klyman came in after Gauthier and surrendered two runs before redshirt senior Joe O’Donnell pitched a clean inning bookmarked with two strikeouts.
The Wolfpack got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the top of the second. After a leadoff single by junior first baseman Evan Edwards, freshman catcher Patrick Bailey launched a two-run home run, his fifth of the season.
North Carolina cut the deficit in half with a run in the home half of the second. However, the Pack managed to answer in the top of the fourth with two more runs.
Senior right fielder Brock Deatherage reached base with a one-out walk. Freshman designated hitter Terrell Tatum followed with a single, and senior second baseman Stephen Pitarra walked to load the bases. An error on the Tar Heels on a grounder by redshirt sophomore third baseman Dillon Cooper brought Deatherage and Tatum home.
One more run came in for the Pack in the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore shortstop Will Wilson reached on a one-out double and moved to third on an Edwards single. After his bomb in the second, Bailey delivered once again with an RBI single to bring Wilson home.
The Heels loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth and managed to score two runs, but the Wolfpack added three more runs in the top of the ninth.
McLain led off with a single followed by a walk to junior left fielder Brett Kinneman. Two batters later, Edwards drilled a three-run homer to right field for his 10th four-bagger of the year.
The Wolfpack will return to Durham this weekend as NC State faces Duke in a three-game series. First pitch from Jack Coombs Field on Friday is set for 6 p.m.