NC State got into the soft underbelly of the UNC-Charlotte bullpen in a midweek game at BB&T Ballpark, staking itself to a 14-0 lead. Then, things got all too interesting, but the Pack held on for a 15-10 win. The 49ers are just outside the RPI top 30, so not only did the Pack avenge an earlier loss to Charlotte, they picked up a résumé-building win in the process.
Joe Dunand has not hit for average in his junior season, but there’s been no shortage of power. Dunand, who came into the game batting .218, homered twice to help stake the Pack to a two-touchdown lead. Nine of his 21 hits on the season have left the yard. Freshman Brad Debo hit his second career homer as part of a 3-for-4 day. Debo also doubled and drove in a career-high six runs.
Josh McLain had a pair of hits, including a double, and drove in a couple. Jack Conley, who got the start over slumping Brock Deatherage in right field, also had a pair of hits.
Michael Bienlien cruised through four shutout innings but ran into all sorts of trouble in the fifth, when it appeared Elliott Avent exercised a bit too much patience in trying to get the freshman trough five so he could qualify for the win. Bienlien was charged with seven runs before the inning mercifully came to a close.
Joe O’Donnell was credited with the win but pitched poorly, surrendering three runs (two earned) in 2.1 innings. He had struck out 15 over his previous three outings, spanning 8.2 shutout innings, but fanned just one Tuesday.
Austin Staley pitched a pair of shutout frames to finish it off, getting a 6-4-3 double play after allowing a couple of hits to open the ninth before ending the game with a strikeout.
State’s road trip continues as it returns to ACC play this weekend at Notre Dame. The Irish are just 8-15 overall and 2-7 in league play, so the Pack really needs to come home with at least two wins on the weekend.