Diamond Update: Two out of Three Ain't Bad

USA TODAY Sports

Runs continue to be hard to come by in the Tech series, while things got homer happy over in Chapel Hill.

Chance Shepard's third career home run stood as the only run of the game Saturday as N.C. State evened its series with Georgia Tech. Four Pack pitchers combined on the 1-0 shutout, with Jon Olczak picking up his first career win and Cody Beckman notching his first career save.

Shepard had three of the Pack's five hits to raise his season OPS to .929. The sophomore has driven in 10 runs in just 47 at-bats.

The Patterson twins piggybacked the first 6.2 innings, with Patrick wriggling out of a number of jams over his three and two-third frames. The lefty twin gave up three hits, three walks, and uncorked a wild pitch but escaped unscathed. Righty Eric also pitched through some trouble, but a Garrett Suggs to Logan Ratledge relay cut down a runner at the plate to end the fifth.

After Olczak allowed just a hit in his two innings, Beckman came on for the lefty-lefty matchup with Daniel Spignola, who had been 2-for-4, and got him on an infield popup to end the game.

The series concludes Sunday at one, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Here are the up-to-the-minute standings in the race for 10th:

Team/Place

ACC Record

Games Back

Maryland/10th

9-13

--

N.C. State/11th

8-15

1.5

Boston College/12th

7-16

2.5

Virginia Tech/13th

7-16

2.5

Boston College will try to complete a sweep of Maryland (and win its fifth straight conference game) Sunday afternoon. The Eagles helping to oust the Terps from the tournament would be a fitting end to Maryland's stay in the ACC so far as I'm concerned. Not to breed false hope (though that is what we do around here), but State concludes its season in Blacksburg against the free-falling Hokies.

***

The softball team racked up 14 runs over the first two games of its last ACC series of the season, but it was only good enough for a doubleheader split in Chapel Hill. Behind home runs from Molly Hutchison and Tyler Ross, the Pack took the opener 7-5; despite adding four long balls in game two, the Pack fell 11-7.

The Pack trailed 4-0 heading into the sixth before Ross's pinch-hit dinger capped a five-run uprising in game one. Hutchison delivered two important insurance runs with her blast in the seventh. A freshwoman, Ross has played sparingly but has been productive with her opportunities, posting a .282/.378/.615 triple slash line. Hutchison, also a first-year player, is second only to Renada Davis on the team with nine round trippers.

Davis went yard twice in the second game, bringing her season total to 15. The junior shortstop has a ridiculous .360/.447/.755 triple slash line. Unfortunately, Davis's leadoff homer gave the Pack their only lead in game two.

Ross's second pinch hit dinger, this time a grand slam, closed the gap to 8-7 in the fifth, but Chelsea Stanfield, State's third pitcher of the game, gave most of it back on a three-run bomb from Amber Parrish.

Kirsty Grant accounted for State's other homer in game two, her third of the year. The Pack have out-homered their opposition 57-26 on the year.

Emily Weiman picked up her 26th win in game one but was hit hard in suffering her 12th loss in game two, giving up five runs in 2.2 innings. Odds are that she will be back in the circle Sunday at one for the series finale.

Game note: Lori Spingola, who had a no hitter going for five innings in game one before the Pack exploded for five runs in the sixth, is the sister of the dude from Tech that made the last out in game two of the baseball series.

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