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Pack 9 pummel NCCU

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State had dropped five of six

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Four-NC Central vs UC Davis
Any excuse to get another shot of that sport coat
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Dunand hit his 13th and 14th home runs of the season, and the Pack blasted four as a team, to climb back over .500 with a 13-0 win over North Carolina Central at the Doak at Dail.

Dunand finished 3-for-5 with a double to go with his two dingers and drove in five. Every starter with the exception of Brock Deatherage had at least one hit, and Deatherage at least managed to drive in a run with a sacrifice fly. Josh McLain and Brett Kinneman accounted for the other home runs, both solo shots.

It was a cast of forgotten characters on the mound, with Cory Wilder getting the start. He didn’t make it through the first due to his typical wildness. Catcher Brad Debo, who picked a runner off second, and Tommy DeJuneas bailed Wilder out. DeJuneas got both batters he faced to strand a pair of inherited runners and went on to throw 4.2 shutout innings.

Tim Naughton, who had made a team-low five appearances coming in to the game but hadn’t allowed an earned run, kept his ERA at 0.00 with three shutout frames. Zach Usselman got the last three outs, two via strikeout.

In case you’re wondering, Dunand has a bit of work to do to match State’s single-season homer record, which is shared by Turtle Zaun and Tracy Woodson. Woodson hit 25 in 1984; Zaun matched him in ’88.

The Pack are right back at it tomorrow, taking on ECU in Greenville in a battle of preseason top 25 teams that have fallen on hard times. The game, slated for a 7 p.m. first pitch, will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.