NC State got a timely visit from 2017 Johnny Piedmonte Friday night. The mustachioed righty, who didn’t pitch at all at Clemson and has struggled to a 4.58 ERA after his brilliant, undefeated season a year ago, took the bump against Georgia Tech after the Pack were embarrassed in game one of the impromptu doubleheader and worked six shutout frames. State scored all five of its runs in the fifth and hung on through some bullpen adventures to win 5-2.
The teams played two due to inclement weather expected tomorrow. The time for game three is TBD, but it will likely be Sunday or not at all.
Piedmonte surrendered just two hits and two walks in his six shutout innings, striking out five. Despite a relatively high ERA, he moved to 3-0 on the year and is 10-0 over the past two seasons.
State loaded the bases with none out in the fifth after three consecutive hits that didn’t leave the infield. Will Wilson’s RBI groundout plated the first run of the game. An Evan Edwards RBI single made it 2-0, and Patrick Bailey followed with a run-scoring fielder’s choice to make it 3-0. Shane Shepard punctuated the scoring with a line drive laser of a tater down the right field line to make it 5-0.
Every State starter had a hit in the game, but only Bailey had more than one. He finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. David Vazquez got the nod over J.T. Jarrett at second base and doubled and walked in four plate appearances.
Kent Klyman came on for Piedmonte in the seventh and worked a scoreless frame despite walking the first two batters he faced. He was less fortunate in the eighth. Klyman yielded the first two runs he’s allowed all year to let Tech pull to within 5-2. Joe O’Donnell put the fire out with a strikeout to end the inning but had his own troubles in the ninth. The gratuitously-maned righty walked the leadoff man and hit the next batter to bring the tying run to the plate. Pinch hitter Baron Radcliff hit a rope to right that Brock Deatherage snagged with a sliding catch that perhaps saved the game.
O’Donnell settled down and got the next two on a pop up and fly out to ice the game.
The Pack dropped the opener 13-4. We’re not going to talk about that one. After earning the split in game two, State stands at 19-4 overall and 6-2 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets fell to 13-10, 3-5.