NC State baseball week in review

The NC State baseball team had a successful final week of the regular season, closing out the old Doak in style with a sweep of Virginia. The sweep also lifted the Wolfpack to seventh place in the ACC, so they will not have to worry about the play-in game come ACC tournament time.

The week began with a final trip out-of-conference to abysmal UNC-Charlotte. The Wolfpack offense launched five homeruns off Charlotte pitching (the Niners used seven pitchers) and scored 16 runs. Justin Riley had four RBIs for State, while Joe Gaetti and Matt Butler both hit three-run homers. Daryl Minugh pitched five innings for the Pack, allowing all six Charlotte runs. The final margin was 16-6.

The offense stayed hot (and it needed to) in the Virginia series, scoring at least 10 runs in each game. NC State starter Phillip Davidson dominated Friday's opener. The Wolfpack pitcher allowed just 2 runs on six hits on his way to a complete game. Joe Gaetti (4-5, 3 RBIs) and the offense gave Davidson all the support he would need. Though they got off to a slow start, the hitters plated 9 runs in innings five through eight. Final score: 10-2.

Virginia played much better in game two, hitting four homeruns over the course of the game. Fortunately for NC State, three of those homers were solo shots. Colt Morton nailed his 13th homerun of the season, and the Wolfpack offense scored 12 runs. Coach Avent let Mike Prochaska pitch eight innings for the Pack despite allowing 6 runs. Virginia starter Joe Koshansky was tagged for thirteen hits over six innings as once again the NC State offense was too much for UVA. Final: 12-7.

The pitching was suspect in game three as well, but NC State prevailed with a 10-8 victory. NC State jumped out to a 7-0 lead and starter Daniel Caldwell pitched five scoreless innings before being relieved by Daryl Minugh. Minugh allowed 5 runs in the top of the sixth and was relieved before recording a single out. Virginia scored 2 more runs in the inning and one more in the top of the seventh to draw within a run of the Pack. NC State added an insurance run in the eighth and pitcher Ryan Combs kept the UVA bats silent over the final two innings.

With the sweep, NC State (32-24, 7-17) will enter the ACC tournament as the #7 seed. State will face #2 seed Wake Forest at 5:00 PM this Wednesday. Virginia, the #6 seed, gets UNC-Chapel Hill. Clemson and Georgia Tech will face off in the 4-5 game, and regular season champion FSU will await the winner of Duke/Maryland. The ACC is probably the best conference in the nation, so another miracle run for the baseball team will be very difficult. The Pack did not fare well at all against the upper half of the conference during the regular season (just 2-13 against the top five teams).

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