Overman, Clyde Help Pack Sweep into First Place

Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

N. C. State has not lost a baseball game since March.

Chris Overman extended his season-long scoreless inning streak to 20, keeping Georgia Tech (27-13, 11-10) at bay in the late innings to allow N. C. State (32-10, 14-7) to come from behind yet again and push its winning streak to 14 games. Grant Clyde's clutch two-strike hitting keyed the Pack offense in the 8-7 win; he put his team up 5-0 with a grand slam on a 1-2 pitch in the third, then ignited the game-winning rally with a double on a 2-2 pitch in the top of the ninth.

The Yellow Jackets answered Clyde's grand slam with a four-spot in the bottom of the third, chasing Pack starter Brad Stone before he recorded an out in the inning. The Jackets plated single runs off Pack relievers Travis Orwig, Andrew Woeck, and D.J. Thomas to eventually lead 7-6 after six innings. Overman came on with no outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the sixth and did allow the inherited runner to score, but that's all Tech would get against the senior, who picked up his first win of the season in his 15th appearance without yielding an earned run.

Clyde led off the top of the ninth with a double off Tech catcher turned closer Zane Evans, who entered the contest with a 1.12 ERA and three saves. The formerly slumping Brett Williams followed with his fourth hit of the day to plate Clyde to tie it. Williams hustled to take second on the throw home and moved up 90 feet on a Bryan Adametz sac bunt. Jake Armstrong lifted a fly ball to shallow right and Williams opted to test the arm of Tech right fielder Daniel Palka. A good throw would have had Williams dead to rights, but Palka's toss pulled reserve catcher Mitch Earnest up the line. Earnest could not handle the short hop and apply a tag as Williams scooted past him with the game-winning run.

It was a rough series for Evans, who struck out three times in each of the first two games and suffered his first loss of the season in game three. Evans is a good player, but, at least on this weekend, he certainly did not remind anyone of former ACC catcher/closer Buster Posey.

Trea Turner had a huge series for the Pack, collecting seven hits, including three more Sunday to raise his average to .436. If he can maintain that average, he will set a new single-season Pack record for batting average (Chris Cammack hit .429 in 1969).

The win was N. C. State's 10th in a row in league play, including six straight on the road. The Pack trailed at some point during nine of those 10 wins. Thanks to a little help from Miami and a lot of help from Virginia, the streaking Pack find themselves in first place in the ACC Atlantic Division. The Canes knocked off Clemson Sunday and the Hoos swept Florida State in Charlottesville over the weekend, leaving the Tigers and Noles a game behind the front-running Pack in the standings.

After a Tuesday evening tilt with Davidson, the first of 11 straight games at home, the Pack will host #1 North Carolina for a three-game set next weekend. The Pack and Heels have both won 14 straight games, the longest current winning streaks in college baseball. UNC swept Duke over the weekend, allowing just a single run in each game to move to a ridiculous 39-2 on the season. The first two games of the series will be on ESPN3 and Sunday's finale will be televised on ESPNU.

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