Perhaps the weekend sweep at the hands of Boston College was the smelling salts NC State needed to wake up in what thus far has been an underwhelming performance in 2017. The Pack left Boston at 20-20 overall, but back-to-back midweek shutouts have lit the flame of hope yet again. After pounding NCCU 13-0 Tuesday, the Pack nine handcuffed rival ECU Wednesday in Greenville in a 6-0 shutout.
Sean Adler, who apparently has been demoted from Friday night starter in favor of Johnny Piedmonte, got the nod and fanned seven over 5.1 shutout innings, including getting the side looking in the third. Adler ran into trouble in the sixth, but Joe O’Donnell cleaned up the mess with no damage done. O’Donnell struck out three in 2.1 innings. Austin Staley got the last four outs.
Offensively, Joe Dunand once again led the way, following up his two-homer performance against NCCU with another bomb, his 15th, a double, and a single. He scored two and drove in two. Andy Cosgrove also enjoyed a three-hit game that included a double, run scored, and RBI.
Brett Kinneman had a pair of hits and scored and drove in a run. He did strike out once, but that was one of just two for Pack batsmen. The three State hurlers combined to strike out 11. Don’t blame pitching for State’s recent struggles; the Pack staff has allowed a grand total of four runs in three games.
ECU leaves the game with an identical, and disappointing, 22-20 record, but the Pirates are a top 100 RPI club despite their off year. The win pushed the Pack up 10 spots in Warren Nolan’s real-time RPI to 53rd.
The Wolfpack will try to replicate this newfound combination of pitching and offense when Virginia Tech comes to the Doak at Dail for a three-game set starting Friday at 6:30 p.m.