Stephen Pitarra and Brad Debo each had three hits, and NC State once again held on to a big lead late, however tenuously, to beat Pitt. The 8-6 win gave the Pack their fifth consecutive ACC win, evening their league record at 13-13, and they’ve won 10 of 11 overall to reach 30 wins on the season.
State held an 8-2 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth, when starter Brian Brown ran out of gas. Brown allowed the first two Pitt batters to reach and a then a Joe Dunand error helped open the flood gates for a four-run inning. Little-used righty Tim Naughton spelled Brown and allowed a couple of inherited runners to score on a groundout and a double, but, considering the no-out mess he inherited, did a pretty good job of escaping with the lead.
For the second straight night, Joe O’Donnell put an end to any thought of a Panthers comeback, notching his seventh save with an uneventful ninth.
Debo’s RBI double in the first put the Pack up early. Pitarra’s RBI single, part of a six-run explosion in the second, made it 3-1. Debo added his second RBI double of the game in the inning. Debo’s solo shot made it 8-2 in the sixth.
State led the series opener 7-0 before allowing Pitt to creep back into it but prevailed 7-4. The Pack will go for their second straight ACC series sweep tomorrow at 1 p.m. The series win is their first against a league opponent on the road this season.