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Pack Pick Up Win in Series Finale

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That goes for baseball and softball.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

NC State outscored #8 Florida State 13-11 in their weekend series. Unfortunately, with a pair of one run losses (3-2, 1-0) coming Thursday and Friday, the Pack only managed to take one of three in the series. Nonetheless, the Pack certainly did nothing to damage their NCAA tournament prospects on a weekend that culminated in a 19-hit barrage in the series finale. State won 11-7.

Jake Fincher, Andrew Knizner, Logan Ratledge, and Ryne Willard all homered in the final game of the series, as the offense finally got untracked in a big way. Even after losing two of three, the Pack have won eight of 10 and scored in double figures in five of their last 10.

Fincher, who went 4-for-5 and scored three times, began the bottom of the first with a single. Ratledge followed with one of his own and both eventually scored on wild pitches. Ratledge's two-run shot extended the lead to 5-2 in the fifth before Knizer and Willard's solo shots made it 7-3 in the sixth. The Pack lead grew to 11-4 before a Seminole rally in the eighth closed the gap to 11-7. Will Gilbert, the only one of four Pack pitchers not to allow a run, snuffed out the rally—stranding the bases drunk—and got the game's last five outs. The sleight 5-11, 160-pound junior has surrendered a grand total of one earned run in 19.1 innings pitched this season.

NC State currently has a better overall record (19-11 to 17-12) and ACC record (7-7 to 6-7) than UNC, though the Heels remain ranked (26th).  After midweek games at Elon and UNC-Wilmington (a team that might be the class of the state), State takes on UNC in Chapel Hill. A three or four win week would be pretty fabulous. Friday's series opener will be broadcast on the U and the remainder of the series is available through ESPN3 tube streaming.

SOFTBALL

So apparently FSU is #8 in all sports that involve batting a sphere, as the Noles' softball team is also a top 10 squad. And, apparently, NC State salvages a win in game three of the series in all sports that involve batting a sphere. Results against FSU's #8 cricket squad were not available at press time, but softball made excellent use of just five hits to knock off the Noles 9-4. Lefty-swingin' freshwoman Meredith Burroughs hit a granny and Renada Davis had a two-run bomb as part of a three-RBI day. The senior shortstop has reached base safely in 28 straight games.

Davis went 4-for-7 in the series with two bombs, three walks, and seven RBI.

Emily Weiman started all three games and did not exactly fool anyone; State lost the first two games of the series (6-5, 10-1) and Weiman allowed 15 batters to reach base in the finale. FSU's Lacey Waldrop fell to 21-4 after Saturday's loss; it was just the Noles' second setback in ACC play.

The Pack ladies have a midweek doubleheader at ECU before traveling to Charlottesville to beat the ever loving crap out of the perennial bottom dwelling Cavaliers.