Wolfpack Baseball Split Midweek Pair Heading into ACC Play

You may have seen the last of AT for awhile. - Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

N. C. State hosts Clemson for an important early conference three-game set this weekend.

N. C. State had its 10-game winning streak snapped in emphatic fashion Tuesday, dropping a head-scratching 24-12 anomaly at Elon, but the Pack rebounded to defeat Campbell 5-2 at home Wednesday.

After allowing 26 total runs through their first 11 games, the Wolfpack (11-2) coughed up nearly that many in one game against the Phoenix (6-5). Anthony Tzamtzis set the tone early, surrendering seven runs (six earned) in one-plus inning in his 2013 debut. Tzamtzis, seemingly a forgotten man after finishing last season as a weekend starter, might find himself buried on the depth chart yet again after allowing four hits, hitting two batters, walking one, and committing an error while only recording three outs (which incidentally all came by strikeout).

The Wolfpack bullpen, which had a stretch of over 37 innings without allowing an earned run earlier in the season, continually reignited the fire Tzamtzis started. Every Pack hurler, and there were eight of them, was scored upon accept for Conor O'Brien, who mercifully got the last out in the eighth.

Blaine Bower and Antonio Alvarez, the one-two hitters for the Phoenix, each scored five runs and Alvarez added five RBI. Sebastian Gomez had three of Elon's 21 hits and plated six runs.

N. C. State was not without its own offense. Trea Turner dropped a pair of bombs as part of a four-hit, five-RBI afternoon. Brett Williams took three of the Pack's 13 free passes and added a base hit but somehow managed not to score a run. Jake Armstrong, Brett Austin, and Terran Senay all drove in a pair for the Pack.

Things returned to some semblance of normalcy back in Raleigh as the Pack held off a Campbell squad that entered the contest 10-1. The bullpen, in particular, got its stuff together as three relievers combined to hold the Camels scoreless over six and two third innings. Josh Easley got the win in relief and Chris Overman set up Ryan Wilkins for his first save of the season. Though he has yet to make a start, Wilkins is second on the team with 10 and two third innings pitched; he has not allowed a run all season.

For the first time all season, Turner failed to record a hit but still walked, scored a run, drove in a run, and stole his eighth base of the year. Even after the oh-for at the plate, Turner is batting .490 with a ridiculous 1.449 OPS.

Like Turner, Jake Fincher has reached base safely in all 13 Pack games and was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI against the Camels. Austin and Will Nance finished with three hits apiece. Austin scored twice and plated a run, and two of Nance's three knocks went for two bags.

Karl Keglovits got the start against Campbell and only managed two and a third innings before getting the hook. The scary thing is that Kegs' outing was the longest by a Wolfpack starter since Carlos Rodon went seven innings in Saturday's win over Florida Atlantic. Kegs allowed three hits, walked two, fanned two, and was charged with two runs (one earned) in his first appearance since combining with Rodon to no hit La Salle. Over the last three games, Wolfpack starting pitchers have gone a total of three and two third innings and allowed 10 runs.

Finding a third starter behind staff ace Rodon and the steady Ethan Ogburn will likely be the key to competing in the difficult ACC this season. The ACC slate gets underway this weekend as Clemson visits the Doak for a three-game set beginning Friday at 3 p.m. All three gamed will be televised on ESPN3.

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