The Wolfpack drops two of its three games against Wake Forest to give State six losses in its last seven conference games.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — No. 8 NC State (31-10, 13-8 ACC) dropped its second Atlantic Coast Conference series in a row as Wake Forest (24-17, 11-10 ACC) downed the Wolfpack in two of the three games in the series.
THURSDAY: Wake Forest 7, NC State 3
The Wolfpack fell behind early in Thursday evening’s series opener and could not rally back as the Demon Deacons took the win at Gene Hooks Field, 7-3.
Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Dalton Feeney (1-1, 1.90 ERA) earned the loss after giving up a run on four hits and two walks in 2-2/3 innings. Sophomore left-hander Evan Justice then gave up three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits and two walks in 1-2/3 innings.
Redshirt senior righty Nolan Clenney followed with an inning of work, giving up two runs before giving way to junior right-hander Andrew Blake who only gave up a run in the last 2-2/3 innings of the game.
With the Demon Deacons already ahead by three, the Pack scored its first run in the top of the fifth. Freshman third baseman Vojtech Mensik led off with a double, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop Will Wilson.
The Pack’s final two runs came in the top of the eighth. Freshman center fielder Tyler McDonough reached on a one-out single. Freshman left fielder Luca Tresh followed with a two-run home run for his fourth four-bagger of the season.
SATURDAY (Game 1): NC State 4, Wake Forest 3
With Friday’s game postponed due to inclement weather, the Pack opened the ensuing doubleheader by slipping past the Deacs in Saturday’s first game, 4-3.
Sophomore right-hander Reid Johnston started on the mound, carrying a one-hit shutout into the sixth but gave up three runs on five hits and three walks before getting pulled despite striking out six Wake Forest batters. Sophomore southpaw Nick Swiney (3-0, 7.62 ERA) pitched the final 3-1/3 innings, striking out six Deacons while allowing just one hit en route to the win.
State struck early with a run in the top of the first. Senior first baseman Evan Edwards reached on a two-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. McDonough then singled through the right side to plate Edwards.
The Pack pushed two more runs across in the third, chasing Wake’s starting pitcher out of the game in the process. Sophomore second baseman J.T. Jarrett drew a leadoff walk followed by a single by sophomore right fielder Jonny Butler. After a walk to sophomore catcher Patrick Bailey, McDonough reached on a fielder’s choice that brought Jarrett home. Butler then scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch.
The Demon Deacons managed to tie the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. However, Jarrett led off the top of the seventh with his first career home run, scoring the go-ahead run to put the Pack ahead for good.
SATURDAY (Game 2):
Despite starting off strong offensively, the Pack’s production tapered off as the Demon Deacons rallied to dispatch NC State and secure the series win, 9-8.
McDonough provided a strong offensive showing in the series finale, compiling a 4-for-5 clip at the plate with two doubles, a triple, a home run, a run scored, and five runs driven in. Edwards also finished 4-for-5 with a double and three runs scored.
Junior right-hander Jason Parker started on the mound but was relieved after 4-1/3 innings in which he surrendered five runs on seven hits despite tossing seven strikeouts. Sophomore southpaw Canaan Silver finished the fifth inning with one run allowed on one hit.
Redshirt freshman Cameron Cotter (3-3, 2.95 ERA) picked up the loss after surrendering three runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out two batters. Junior lefty Kent Klyman entered after Cotter to record a bases-loaded hit batsman before junior righty Michael Bienlien drilled a batter with the bags full himself. However, Bienlien recorded two outs before sophomore left-hander David Harrison and junior right-hander Alec Barger came in to pitch the eighth inning.
Continuing its momentum from the last game, the Pack plated two runs in the first inning. Edwards reached on a two-out single before McDonough clobbered his fourth homer of the season just inside the left-field foul pole.
NC State followed the two-run first with a five-run onslaught in the second. Junior designated hitter Brad Debo reached base with one out in the inning thanks to a Wake Forest error. Mensik then walked before Jarrett got beaned to load the bases. Butler reached on a fielder’s choice that resulted in Jarrett getting tagged out, but the ensuing throw went wild, allowing Debo and Mensik to score on the play. Bailey followed with a single to drive Butler home. After an Edwards double that put runners on second and third, McDonough doubled to bring Bailey and Edwards home.
The final Wolfpack run came in the top of the seventh. Edwards led off with a double before McDonough doubled to drive the State first baseman home. In the next half-inning, the Demon Deacons would score three runs to take the lead for good.
The Wolfpack will return to action Tuesday as Tennessee Tech comes to Doak Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.