NC State, ranked as high as 10th in at least one preseason poll, had an inauspicious debut to the 2016 campaign, dropping a 5-0 decision to Old Dominion at the Caravelle Resort tournament in Myrtle Beach. The Pack made more errors (4) than hits (3) and struggled to throw strikes
Johnny Piedmonte got the opening-day nod over freshman All-American Brian Brown for the Pack nine but didn't make it through the third, surrendering three runs (two earned) thanks largely to issuing four free passes. State issued seven walks on the day. Bright spots from the staff included successful debuts from redshirt freshman Austin Staley, who was first out of the pen with 1.1 scoreless innings. Senior Kyle Smith, who sat out last year after transferring, fanned a pair in a scoreless ninth.
There was little in terms of offensive highlights. Stephen Pitarra had a pair of hits in his first career start, and Preston Palmeiro accounted for the other. All were singles. Pitarra started at second, bumping last year's second sacker, Ryne Willard, to third. Pitarra committed one of State's four errors; Joe Dunand, who has moved from third to short, also had a miscue.
Storm Edwards and Xavier LeGrant, two of Elliott Avent's more highly-regarded recruits to make it to campus the last couple of years, did not play.
Sam Sinnen got the win for ODU with five shutout frames. Brett Smith and Nick Hartman finished the shutout off with two innings apiece; they got seven of their 12 outs via strikeout. The Monarchs went winless in the Myrtle Beach tournament last year on their way to a 27-29 season.
Tournament host Coastal Carolina will be the Pack's next opponent tomorrow at 2 p.m.