Will Wilson went 4-for-4 from the plate and Johnny Piedmonte combined with two relievers limit Delaware to only one run as NC State defeated the Blue Hens 7-1 at Doak Field Friday in the opener of a three-game set between the two schools.
The Wolfpack won its sixth straight game to improve to 26-20 on the season. Delaware dropped to 24-19 with the loss.
With it being the end of spring semester at NC State and most students preparing to take finals, the Wolfpack did not schedule a midweek contest ahead of its nonconference encounter with the Blue Hens.
It did not stop NC State from continuing its recent form.
"We played good,” NC State head coach Elliott Avent said. “You worry about that because we want a midweek game. That is what hurt us before Boston [College]. You want a midweek game just to stay in the flow...but with exams going on we felt like we just shouldn’t do it.
“We played very well because that is a very good Delaware. Will Wilson just had a tremendous night.”
Wilson got the scoring started with a solo homer over the wall in left in NC State’s half of the third inning. The Blue Hens answered to tie the game a half-inning later but the Wolfpack would respond with more handy work from Wilson.
The native of Kings Mountain, North Carolina drove in another run in the bottom of the fourth with a single through the right side. NC State led for the remainder of the contest.
In NC State’s last game, a 14-2 win over Virginia Tech, Wilson was one of only two players for the Wolfpack that did not get a hit.
“I felt good,” Wilson said. “I was struggling a little bit over the weekend against Virginia Tech so I have been working with the coaches. We are playing good ball.”
Piedmonte pitched 5.2 innings and allowed only one run on four hits. The righty fanned five and walked three as he improved to 5-0 on the season.
Austin Staley came on in relief with two outs in the top of the sixth and issuing a walk to load the bases got out of the jam with groundout. Staley pitched 2.2 innings before yielding to Kent Klyman, who then fanned the final two batters of the game to clinch the win.
“Johnny [Piedmonte] just likes to win the games,” Avent said. “He wants the ball and we want him to have the ball. Staley, that’s the best outing he has had since March. He pitched outstanding. I thought Kent Klyman came in and threw the ball very well tonight.”
The two schools will square off in the second game of the series Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Freshman Michael Bienlien (2-2, 4.11 ERA) is the scheduled starter for NC State Saturday.