Runs were hard to come by on the diamond for both NC State's baseball and softball programs on Friday; the men dropped their season opener 5-0 and the women were tripped up 6-1. It was a different tune a day later. Pack baseball hung 13 on #21 Coastal Carolina, triumphing in a 13-10 slugfest. Softball, which had lost three of its last four games despite leading in the last inning in all of them, turned the tables with an eight-run explosion in the top of the seventh to down Nebraska 11-6. Unfortunately, the momentum didn't carry over for the ladies, as they dropped their second game of the day to Wisconsin, 2-1.
Preston Palmeiro paced the Pack at the Caravelle Resort tournament in Myrtle Beach, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a homer, and four RBI. His homer capped a four-run 8th that broke a 7-7 tie and ultimately propelled the Pack to victory. A day after managing just three singles, State went yard five times against the Chanticleers. Josh McClain, Andrew Knizner, Joe Dunand, and Xavier LeGrant joined Palmeiro with their first long balls of the season. Freshman LeGrant's homer came in his first career at bat.
The rally made a winner out of Will Gilbert, the only one of four Pack pitchers to escape unscathed on the afternoon. The senior allowed a single and a walk while fanning three in 2.1 innings. Despite getting hit hard, Pack hurlers did fan a dozen Chanticleers, though they also issued six bases on balls.
The women, playing in the inaugural ACC-Big Ten challenge for softball, tied their game with previously unbeaten Nebraska with four consecutive hits in the top of the seventh from Lana Van Dyken, Tyler Ross, Molly Hutchinson, and Maggie Hawkins. Meredith Burroughs untied it with a three-run blast, her second homer of the day, to put the Pack up 8-5. They would go on to score three more, making the Cornhuskers' run in the bottom of the inning moot. Harli Hubbard evened her record at 2-2 in something less than dominating fashion; she allowed 12 hits and 6 earned runs in 6.1 innings. Courtney Mirabella recorded the final two outs.
Mirabella was the tough-luck loser against Wisconsin. She went the distance, scattering four hits and fanning 10, but her shot at a shutout was undone by a Pack defense that made three errors behind her. Both runs charged to Mirabella were unearned and ultimately proved to be the difference. Hannah Sommer homered to account for the Pack's lone tally.
Both teams return to their respective events Sunday and both will be trying to get over .500. Baseball, 1-1, faces Kent State in a Sunday morning tilt at 11. Softball, 4-4, gets a 12:30 rematch with Wisconsin at the Dail Softball Stadium.