Pack Baseball: Weekend Wrap-Up

Pack Pride writer Austin Johnson takes a look at NC State's performance this weekend on the diamond.

Saturday (Game 1): NC State 12 (15-6, 2-2 ACC), Virginia Tech 8 (12-7, 2-2)

Play of the game: The Wolfpack kept getting runners on base in its five-run fifth inning. Two batters reached on botched fielder's choices, two walked and three reached with hits. The loudest hit of the campaign came when Ferguson smacked an RBI double through the gap in left center.

Top Performers:
Ramon Coronoa -
2-3, 1 Run, 3 RBIs, Walk
The junior second baseman's bat has come alive in the last week, and he continued the trend with another two-hit performance on Saturday. Corona has upped his average from .167 going into the Maryland series to .261 after Saturday's action.

Pat Ferguson - 3-4, Double, Home Run, 3 Runs, 2 RBIs
Ferguson picked up his first home run of the year in the sixth inning, smacking a solo shot over the right-field wall. Ferguson is batting .383 for the season, but has only started about half of the Wolfpack's games so far this year.

Notables: Starter Andrew Brackman (4-1) picked up the win, going five innings and giving up eight this and two runs while striking out two. Freshman Dallas Poulk started at second base after the Pack lost Vince Gutierrez to a separated shoulder injury suffered on Wednesday. Gutierrez is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Saturday (Game 2): NC State 5 (16-6, 3-2 ACC), Virginia Tech 2 (12-8, 2-3)

Play of the game: With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, coach Elliot Avent had a choice. Stick with Matt Payne, who was already 2-3 on the day, or play match-ups and go with lefty Jeremy Synan against Hokie right-hander Rhett Ballard. Avent called Synan's number and five pitches later looked like a tactical genius, as the lefty smacked a bases-clearing triple down the right-field line to put the Wolfpack on top 5-2.

Top Performers:
Eric Surkamp
6.2 IP, 8 Hits, 2 Runs, 1 Walk, 4 Strikeouts
Surkamp delivered another workmanlike outing for the Pack but once again missed out on getting the win. Surkamp gave up just one well hit ball, a run-scoring triple in the second inning before losing a bit of control in the seventh and being pulled in favor of Clayton Shunick.

Caleb Mangum - 1-3, Home Run, 2 Runs, RBI, Walk
Mangum got the scoring started for the Wolfpack with a blast that bounced off the scoreboard in the second inning, his third homer of the season. He also kept the seventh inning alive with a two-out walk to set up Synan's heroics.

Notables: Shunick (3-1) picked up a win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless work, while Eryk McConnell got his fifth save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. Reliever Scott Stoehr (0-1) took the loss for the Hokies. Ryan Pond got back into the lineup as the designated hitter, as the Pack's normal right fielder continues to recover from a pulled hamstring injury.

Sunday: Virginia Tech 6 (13-8, 3-3), NC State 4 (16-7, 3-3) in 11 innings

Play of the game: Third baseman Drew Martin made two errant throws, one to first and one to home, that allowed the Hokies to score two unearned runs in the top of the 11th inning to win the game. Martin has been bothered by a shoulder injury all season but has been feeling well enough to play third base in each game this weekend.

Top Performers:
Tech's Adam Redd –
3-5, 1 RBI, 6 IP, 2 Hits, 0 Runs, 2 Walks, 5 Strikeouts
Redd worked double-duty for the Hokies on Sunday and was spectacular on both ends. At the plate as the designated hitter, he led his team with three hits. On the mound as the starting pitcher, he shut out the Wolfpack over six innings of work.

Dallas Poulk – 3-5, 1 Run, 1 RBI
Making his third start of the season for the Wolfpack, Poulk drove in a run in the seventh with a sharp single to right field, then scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth on a Joe Florio single. The freshman infielder is hitting a torrid .444 in just 18 at-bats so far this season.

Notables: The Wolfpack rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the score at four, getting a two-run single from Matt Payne and an RBI single from Joe Florio. Eryk McConnell (1-1) took the loss for the Pack, working four stellar innings before defensive miscues cost him two runs. Rhett Ballard (4-1) got the win despite blowing the game in the ninth, giving up three runs over four innings and striking out seven.

Wolfpack Statistical Leaders

Batting Avg:
Joe Florio, .361
Hits: Florio, 26
Runs:Florio, 23
Home Runs: Ryan Pond and Caleb Mangum, 3
RBIs: Pond, 19
Stolen Bases: Ramon Corona, 6
Andrew Brackman, 5
Saves: Eryk McConnell, 5
ERA: McConnell, 0.00
Strikeouts: Brackman, 36
Innings Pitched: Brackman, 36.1
Opp Batting Avg: Clayton Shunick, .136

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