LOUISVILLE, KY -- After getting swept in by a struggling Boston College team in April, something clicked with NC State. The Wolfpack finished the rest of the regular season by winning 13 of its last 15 games.
Tuesday afternoon at Louisville Slugger Field, NC State continued its fine form and exacted some revenge in the 2017 ACC Baseball Championship
Redshirt senior Johnny Piedmonte (7-0, 5.17 ERA) and senior Sean Adler combined to hold Boston College at bay as the Wolfpack powered ahead for the 6-1 victory over the Eagles.
With the victory, NC State sets itself up for a winner-take-all showdown versus North Carolina Friday at 7 p.m. with a spot in the semifinals at stake.
Piedmonte, who pitched 4-1/3 innings of relief at Fenway Park, remained undefeated on the season by holding the Eagle offense to one run in five innings of work.
“He kind of epitomizes I think everything NC State stands for, and everybody watches the way he goes about his business,” NC State head coach Elliott Avent said. “He's very professional.”
Adler, the losing pitcher in the Fenway game, came into the game with the bases loaded and induced a double play that allowed the Eagles’ only run. He silenced Boston College the rest of the way with four innings of shutout baseball to secure his third save of 2017.
Sophomore Brett Kinneman led the Wolfpack offensively with four runs batted in, including a three-run home run in seventh inning, his ninth four-bagger of the season.
Freshman Brad Debo finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Junior Josh McLain provided State’s only other multi-hit performance, finishing 2-for-4 with a run.
Junior Stephen Pitarra, McLain, and Debo led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back-to-back singles. Kinneman drove Pitarra in two batters later with a groundout before freshman Will Wilson drove in two runs with a single into right field.
Kinneman’s three-run bomb came after a two-out single by Debo followed by a walk to junior Joe Dunand. NC State never was seriously threatened the rest of the way.
The Wolfpack last reached a final of the ACC Baseball Championship in 2015. NC State will have to get through the second-seeded Tar Heels to return. The two schools battled earlier in the regular season with North Carolina taking two-of-three.