Michael Bienlien and Joe O’Donnell combined on a four-hit shutout to lead NC State to its seventh straight win, a comfortable 7-0 final over visiting Delaware. The seven-game spurt has put a once-floundering Pack back in the conversation for the NCAA tournament; the team’s RPI is 45th as of this posting.
Bienlien worked the first 5.1 innings and surrendered just a pair of hits while fanning four. O’Donnell worked through a bit more trouble, allowing two hits and two walks in his 3.2-inning save, but he struck out six, including two in a row on 3-2 counts to escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. O’Donnell is a perfect 4-0 on the season and is tied for the team lead with Austin Staley with four saves.
Josh McLain homered and doubled as part of a 3-for-5 day to pace the offense. He scored twice and drove in three. Scorching hot Joe Dunand drove in two on a double, and every starter reached base at least once by either a hit or a walk.
Andy Cosgrove, who left Friday’s game after getting hit in the head with a pitch, didn’t start but came in late as a defensive replacement.
State has outscored opponents 60-11 during its seven-game streak.
Former Pack star Chris Combs, who is battling ALS, was honored before the game and threw out the first pitch.
Expect some camo for Sunday’s 1 p.m. series finale at the Doak, as today’s promotion is military appreciation day. Brian Brown will toe the rubber for the Pack.