NC State’s soft non-conference schedule didn’t tell us much about Elliott Avent’s crew. Back-to-back road wins at Clemson, which was #1 in RPI when the series started, has me thinking the 2018 Wolfpack are a buy and hold ball club. After shutting out the Tigers in the Friday opener, senior Brian Brown and freshman Reid Johnston combined to hold Clemson to a single run Saturday in State’s 6-1 win.
The Pack have won both their ACC series so far with a chance to sweep Clemson tomorrow at 1 p.m.
The Tigers tallied first in this one when Brown couldn’t coax a close call for a strike and walked three batters in the second. Kyle Wilkie singled in Clemson’s lone run after the bases were loaded by walks, but Brown escaped without further damage.
State’s senior lefty worked six innings, allowing an earned run on five hits and four walks. He struck out eight. Johnson went the final three innings for his fourth save. He surrendered four hits but didn’t walk anyone and struck out four, giving the Pack staff 12 on the evening. Clemson doesn’t have an extra base hit all weekend.
State scored lone runs in six different innings. McLain scored Patrick Bailey on a groundout to knot the score in the third. Evan Edwards lofted a sacrifice fly to plate Will Wilson an inning later to give the good guys the lead for good. McLain hustled to beat out an infield hit in the fifth and plated Dillon Cooper in the process. Edwards lost one deep to left center in the sixth. McLain scored on a wild pitch in the seventh. Finally, McLain came home again in the ninth on a groundout from Wilson.
Bailey, McLain, and Wilson all had two hits for the Pack, and Bailey and McLain both scored twice. McLain and Edwards drove in a pair apiece (in case the paragraph above was hard to follow).
Seriously, buy on this team. We’re going to be a national seed and go to the CWS (probably). Also, I reserve the right to change my opinion after every single game, but this weekend has been exceedingly promising.