Ethan Ogburn made the most of his first weekend start in nearly a month, flirting with the Pack's second no hitter of the season in a 5-1 win over Presbyterian. The N.C. State senior worked eight innings, allowing just a fifth inning single and an unearned run. Ogburn lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.45 while picking up his fourth win of the season in an outing that saw him strike out three without issuing a free pass. He needed just 83 pitches to record 24 outs.
The win over the Blue Hose (23-23) gave N.C. State (35-11) its 17th win in its last 18 games.
Weekend starts have been a revolving door behind Pack ace Carlos Rodon, and Ogburn getting the ball was not the only shakeup involving the rotation. Brad Stone, who has started nine games this season, got the ball in the ninth, a development that suggests he will not get a start this weekend. Stone looked rather strong in relief, striking out the side on just 10 pitches.
Offense was in short supply for the Pack, but Brett Austin did hit his second home run and steal his 11th base of the season and Grant Clyde had two of the team's six hits to close in on .300. The senior third sacker is batting .296 on the season. Trea Turner went hitless in three at bats, dropping his average to .420, but he did walk and score a run.
After back-to-back singles from Clyde and Brett Williams to open the sixth, Jake Armstrong advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt and Bryan Adametz delivered with a two-run single to chase Blue Hose starter Beau Dees and put the Pack up 5-1, effectively putting the game out of reach for a Presbyterian team that managed to hit just eight balls out of the infield (seven fly outs and a single from Cam McRae).
Adametz's error turned McRae's single into a triple in the fifth and Nathan Chong scored him with a groundout for the Blue Hose's lone run.
Ogburn had not made a weekend start since April 6th when he failed to make it out of the third inning in a 13-4 win over Virginia Tech. Since then and including Friday's win, he has gone 20.1 innings and allowed just two earned runs in an effort to make it back into Elliott Avent's weekend plans.
Game two of the series with the Blue Hose is slated for 6:30 Saturday evening at Doak Field. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.