Rodon, Knizner Pace Pack Nine in Series Opening Win over BC

USA TODAY Sports

The win was State's first in an ACC series opening game since its sweep over Notre Dame to open conference play.

Carlos Rodon won for the first time since March 8th and Andrew Knizner continued to rake as N.C. State downed Boston College 5-1 Friday night at the Doak. The Pack crawled tantalizingly close to cracking the top 10 in the ACC standings; only 10 teams make the league tournament.

Despite a 3-6 record, Rodon has pitched well for the Pack. He lowered his season ERA to 2.15 by limiting the Eagles to a run over eight innings. Rodon scattered six hits, walked three, and struck out seven.

Knizner, perhaps the league's top freshman, raised his average to .375 with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. He got the scoring started in the bottom of the first with a rally-starting base hit, eventually coming home on a two-out single from Preston Palmeiro after Logan Ratledge walked. Palmeiro, another freshman, also enjoyed a 2-for-4 game.

Knizner's two-out, two run double gave the Pack some breathing room in the bottom of the sixth after the Eagles had clawed to within a run. Knizner's two-bagger was his team-leading ninth of the season. Trea Turner was just 1-for-4 and saw his average slip to under .300 (.299), but he did draw a walk and score a run.

Pittsburgh lost at home in 11 innings to Clemson and Virginia Tech fell by a run at home against Duke, allowing N.C. State to tie the Hokies and move to within a game of the Panthers. The Pack, if they can escape inclement weather forecast for the weekend, have a chance to make up more ground Saturday and Sunday against BC, the team with the worst record in the ACC (3-17).

Here are the up-to-the-second standings in the race for the final tournament spot:

Team

ACC Record

6. Duke

10-9

6. Georgia Tech

10-9

8. North Carolina

9-10

9. Maryland

8-10

10. Pittsburgh

8-11

11. N.C. State

7-12

11. Virginia Tech

7-12

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