Will Wilson went 4-for-4 and Johnny Piedmonte remained unbeaten as NC State continued its late push to try to make the NCAA tournament with a 7-1 win over visiting Delaware Friday night. The Pack have won six straight with a combined run margin in that stretch of 53-11.
Wilson launched the fourth homer of his freshman campaign to put the Pack up 1-0 in the third inning. His RBI singled pushed the advantage to 3-1 in the fourth. In the eighth, Wilson scored on a Shane Shepard single after his stinging double off the 380 sign in right-center field.
Wilson raised his average to .290 on the season and sits second on the club in doubles (15) and RBI (33).
Piedmonte wasn’t dominating, allowing four hits, walking three, and hitting a batter in 5.2 innings, but he limited the damage to one run against a Blue Hen offense with impressive numbers up and down the lineup. He has a team-high five wins on the season (against 0 losses) and a team-low 1.98 ERA.
Austin Staley struck out three over 2.2 scoreless innings, and Kent Klyman made his first appearance in a long time and looked sharp, setting down the two batters he faced by strikeout to end the game.
Evan Mendoza’s resurgence continued; he went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .260. Fresh off ACC player of the week honors, Joe Dunand stayed hot with a 2-for-5 performance.
There was a scary moment in the eighth when Andy Cosgrove was beaned and looked to be badly shaken up in the immediate aftermath, but he quickly gathered himself and walked off without assistance with a bit of a grin. He had taken a nasty foul tip that turned his mask around earlier in the game and will no doubt be going through concussion protocols. Jack Conley replaced him in the game and either he or freshman Brad Debo will take over catching duties if Cosgrove has to miss time.
Tonight’s tilt, a 6:30 start, is NC State’s inaugural ALS Awareness Game to honor former star Chris Combs. Michael Bienlien will toe the rubber.
Tourney watch: the Pack have crept up to 44th in RPI and look like a good bet to make the NCAA tournament with a strong finish, something that seemed unthinkable a couple weeks ago after the club was swept by Boston College and fell to 20-20.