Pack Weekend Wrap: We're in This Thing, Maybe

Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

Thanks to a clutch Sunday start from Ethan Ogburn, a big series from Terran Senay, and the continued hot hitting of Brett Austin, N. C. State kept pace with Florida State this weekend.

Carlos Rodon remained mortal and N. C. State continued to have question marks in the starting rotation, but the Wolfpack (16-5, 3-3) managed to take two of three on the road in Winston-Salem this weekend, beating Wake Forest 5-2 on getaway day to take the series.

Ethan Ogburn bounced back from a rough outing last weekend against Clemson to hold the Deacons (12-10, 1-5) to one unearned run over five and two third innings. Ogburn did not issue a single free pass and struck out four. Grant Sasser and Chris Overman kept their season ERA at 0.00 in protecting the lead, with Overman notching his third save of the season. Anthony Tzamtzis was the first Pack pitcher out of the pen and gave up a run thanks to walking a pair and hitting a batter.

That Tzamtzis pitched high leverage innings suggests that Ryan Wilkins was hurt when he took a comebacker in the midweek game against Old Dominion. Wilkins stayed in to get the last out against ODU but did not make an appearance this weekend. He has not allowed a run in 14 and a third innings this season. Neither the Google search nor the dedicated perusal of the N. C. State baseball twitterings can unearth anything definitive on Wilkins' status; hopefully he is back soon.

Elliot Avent finally decided to give Jake Fincher and his .432 on base percentage a shot in the leadoff role, and Fincher responded with a hit, walk, stolen base, and two runs scored. He and Grant Clyde, who got things started with a double, came around to score on a Bryan Adametz two-bagger to stake the Pack to a 2-0 lead. Brett Austin, who has hit in 10 straight, had a 2-for-4 afternoon and singled in Fincher for an insurance run in the seventh.

Things got ugly right off the bat of Jack Carey in Saturday's contest, a 13-4 blowout win for the Deacons. Carey's first inning grand slam highlighted a five-run opening frame off Pack starter Brad Stone, who coughed up seven total runs (five earned) to see his season ERA skyrocket to nearly eight. Karl Keglovits was the only one of five Pack pitchers that recorded an out to not get charged with a run, but even Kegs was not exactly dominate, giving up a hit and walk in his two thirds of an inning. Wake homered three times in the game.

A Terran Senay homer was one of the few bright spots for the Pack Saturday; it was Senay's second bomb of the series. He led the Pack to a 12-6 win in the series opener with a 5-for-5 afternoon that included a homer, three runs scored, and three RBI. The senior first baseman has posted an impressive .338/.413/.623 triple slash line so far this season and leads the team with 24 RBI.

Adametz and Austin had three hits apiece in the series-opening rout and Jake Armstrong belted his first home run in a Pack uniform as part of a five RBI performance. Armstrong needs to be in the lineup; his .449 on base percentage is the best on the team (not including the injured Trea Turner), but perhaps Avent should try him at designated hitter. Armstrong has been replaced at third base by Clyde due to making six errors in his time there; jettisoned to right field, Armstrong made three more errors this weekend. The ball will find you.

Interestingly, Brett Williams got the start at DH Friday and was pinch hit for after starting the game 0-for-4. He did not make another appearance in the series. As with Wilkins, I hate to speculate about an injury as I can find no evidence that one exists. But it is odd that your team's acrobatic-catch-making centerfielder is not playing centerfield. Perhaps his surgically repaired knee that cost him 2012 is acting up.

As for Rodon, he looked like Rodon at times, striking out eight over six innings, but he was tagged for another home run and three earned runs in the game. He walked three and hit a batter. Josh Easley was fantastic out of the pen, picking up a three-inning save while striking out five of the 10 batters he faced.

N. C. State kept pace with Florida State in the Atlantic Division as the Seminoles finally lost their first game of the season but took two out of three against Maryland. The Pack are tied for second and two games out; they really need Rodon to return to being automatic on Friday if they are going to make up ground.

The Pack host UNC Greensboro for a midweek game then travel to Charlottesville for a Saturday-Monday series against Virginia. Monday's finale will be televised on ESPNU.

Atlantic Division

Overall Record

ACC Record

Florida State

18-1

5-1

Clemson

11-7

3-3

N. C. State

16-5

3-3

Maryland

12-7

2-4

Wake Forest

12-10

1-5

Boston College *

3-15

0-6

*Not good at sports

Coastal Division

Overall Record

ACC Record

North Carolina

18-1

5-1

Georgia Tech

17-2

5-1

Virginia

17-2

4-2

Virginia Tech

16-5

4-2

Miami

15-7

2-4

Duke

10-10

2-4

The Coastal Division is some kind of loaded.

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