NC State baseball couldn't close out the Duke series with a sweep, losing 2-1 and wasting another solid start from Ryan Williamson. A win would have moved the Pack into a tie with Louisville for second (and just a game behind Florida State for first) in the monstrous ACC Atlantic (yes the Coastal is comparatively lame in baseball just like in football).
To put the Atlantic into perspective, consider that Clemson is 10th nationally in RPI but sixth in their own division, a mere half game in front of Boston College for last place. Over in the Coastal, the sixth place team, Pitt, is 44th in RPI and over half the division is three or more games under .500 in ACC play.
Williamson allowed just a run on three hits and a walk over 5.1, fanning six. He was pulled after just 72 pitches. I was unable to watch the game and have heard nothing indicating any sort of injury; I'm going to assume that Elliott Avent is trying to keep him fresh for the stretch run and also wanted to get the bullpen a little work with no midweek game ahead. Williamson has thrown a career-high 57.1 innings, already 19 more than last season, so it makes sense to moderate his usage a bit pre-postseason.
Joe Dunand plated State's lone run with an RBI single that scored Stephen Pitarra in the bottom of the first. The Pack went on to strand nine runners.
Evan Mendoza continued to scorch at the dish, going 2-for-3 with a walk to run his hit streak to 17 games. He's batting a whopping .365.
Austin Staley may be a threat to Tommy DeJuneas's role in late-game, high-leverage situations. Staley posted another scoreless outing over 1.1 innings to drop his ERA to 3.38. Opponents are hitting a mere .172 off of him. DeJuneas gave up what proved to be the winning run in the ninth against Duke and sports a 5.18 ERA. Opponents are hitting .295 against him and he's been prone to hard contact, having allowed eight doubles and three homers in just 24.1 innings pitched. It will be nice to have Will Gilbert back.
The Pack travel to Clemson next weekend; the entire series is available for streaming on ESPN3.
Burris and Undrafted Free Agent Signings
Benevolent overlord Steven Muma noted that Pack seniors Joe Thuney and Jacoby Brissett were snagged in the third round of the NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Juston Burris went a round later to the Jets. NJ.com offered this write up of the selection.
Early entry David Grinnage went unselected but was inked by the Packers. Mike Rose latched on with the Giants. Quinton Schooley will a get a shot in Pittsburgh. Shadrach Thornton has yet to find an opportunity.
I'm going to try not to think about the fact that State's porous defense will be without its most productive defensive lineman and best corner next year because it's May and the football team is always great in May.
Softball dropped two of three to Georgia Tech in its last home ACC series and haven't won a league best of three since taking two of three from Virginia Tech in its first conference series of the season. The ladies are just 5-16 in league play.
In better news, two-time national champion Nick Gwiazdowski was recently named the ACC's wrestling scholar athlete of the year. Jonathan Addison captured the equivalent honor for men's indoor track. Always awesome to see kids that go to actual classes with syllabi and whatnot win on and off the field. These two gentlemen may find themselves in the Olympics one day.