Six days after an embarrassing 15-3 loss in Greenville, NC State turned the tides on the ECU Pirates at Doak Field Monday night, getting a three-run homer from Evan Mendoza and 6.2 solid innings from Ryan Williamson to triumph 6-1.
After ECU scored its lone run of the game to take a 1-0 advantage in the second, the Pack rallied for a four-spot in the bottom of the frame and never looked back. Brett Kinneman knotted the score with a double scoring Preston Palmeiro. With Chance Shepard, who had followed Palmeiro's single with a walk, and Kinneman aboard, Mendoza's third homer of the season chased Pirate starter Nick Durazo and made it 4-1.
After Kinneman walked and moved to second on a wild pitch in the sixth, Mendoza struck again with an RBI single, his fourth run batted in of the game. Mendoza brought home Palmeiro to complete the scoring in the eighth, though it was on a two-out error and thus he was not credited with an RBI.
Kinneman and Mendoza both sport .355 averages, tops among Pack regulars. Not bad for a freshman who didn't see much time on the field in the early going and a converted pitcher.
Speaking of pitching, Williamson moved to 7-1, just one win shy of the national lead. He scattered six hits, just one for extra bases, and walked three. He struck out an uncharacteristically low two batters but benefitted from two double plays turned behind him.
NC State is off until Friday when it begins a three-game set against Duke. The bookends of the team's second to last home series will stream live on ESPN The Ocho. After road trips to Clemson and Louisville, the Pack hosts rival UNC to close the regular season. There are no remaining midweek games on the slate.