Cory Wilder, after a stretch that saw him issue just five walks spanning four starts, morphed back into his unfortunate early-season imploding form Friday in NC State's series-opening loss at Clemson. Preston Palmeiro staked the Pack to a 3-0 lead with a towering homerun to centerfield in the top of the first, but Wilder gave it back and then some in a second inning that saw him walk two and uncork two wild pitches. The Tigers tallied six in the frame and went on to win 10-5.
National player of the year candidate Seth Beer, who came in with a video game triple slash line of .408/.540/.775, led the attack for the Tigers (30-15, 12-13). He went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three RBI. All three runs batted in came when he was inexplicably pitched to with first base open and two outs. We can all get behind a pitcher of beer but not pitching to Beer. Important distinction.
Palmeiro led the Pack (31-13, 12-8) with a 3-for-5 day that included an RBI single in addition to his sixth home run. Evan Mendoza remained sizzling; he went 3-for-5 to run his hit streak to 18 games and push his average to .374. Brett Kinneman homered for the Pack but couldn't deliver with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh.
Wilder's abbreviated outing: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, K, 2 WP. He walked the first batter he faced in the second after going ahead 0-2 in the count and then promptly uncorked a wild pitch so wild that the dude went all the way to third. It death spiraled from there before Sean Adler threw some gas on the fire in relief, allowing a couple more runs in 1.2 innings. Chris Williams was even tagged with an earned run for the first time all season. By the end of the long, long evening, State had trotted out seven pitchers. They combined to throw 181 pitches in eight innings, issue 12 free passes, and a hit a batter. And the strike zone was generous.
Alas, it's a long season and these things happen. Mama said there'd be days like this. Etc. etc. etc. Hopefully Elliott Avent can get his hands on a scouting report on Beer by tomorrow's game (4 p.m. and streamin' on The Ocho).