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State sweeps Tribe

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Bill and Mary put up quite a fight, but in the end you need more than two (and to throw strikes)

NC State Athletics

NC State left a dozen men on base, but it didn’t matter in Sunday’s series finale against William and Mary. The Pack and Tribe were even with 10 hits apiece, but Pack batters took 10 walks from wild Tribe pitchers in a 7-3 win. The “W” completed a series sweep for the homestanding Pack nine.

The game was delayed for over 30 minutes due to lightning in the area. Joe O’Donnell, who had worked a scoreless eighth, did not come back out to finish the game after the weather delay. Instead, Johnny Piedmonte, who was originally scheduled to start, came on to record the last three outs. The oft-injured Piedmonte looked rusty, hitting a batter and walking one, but got a nice 5-3 double play, started by Stephen Pitarra and capped off by a nice stretch by Evan Edwards, to end the game.

Before Piedmonte issued a free pass with one out in the ninth, State hurlers had gone the entire three-game series without allowing a single base on balls.

Mathieu Gauthier started in Piedmonte’s place and worked 4.2 innings. He gave up a run on five hits and fanned four. Nick Swiney struck out four in just 2.1 innings of relief but allowed four hits, including a solo home run, and another run that was unearned thanks to a Will Wilson error. O’Donnell fanned two in his inning, giving up just an infield hit on a bad-hop grounder that ate Edwards up a first.

Offensively, everyone on the club reached at least twice by some combination of hit or walk except for Edwards (who did have a single and scored a run in a 1-for-5 afternoon). Josh McLain had three hits and drove home a pair. Terrell Tatum had two hits and turned an RBI double into a little league home run after the throw in from right field skipped past third base and out of the field of play.

Wilson, Pitarra, and JT Jarrett combined for just one hit—Jarrett’s RBI single—but each one of them walked twice. Pitarra scored a couple of runs and plated one on a safety squeeze.

Of concern for the Pack—aside from the 12 runners left on—was striking out 10 times. A lack of clutch hits and too little contact doomed the Pack in their last ACC series. It didn’t matter against overmatched William and Mary, but State’s current struggles with situational hitting likely won’t get it done when ACC play resumes next weekend.

State hosts a two-game midweek set against James Madison (Tuesday @ 6p.m.; Wednesday @ 3 p.m.) before welcoming Wake Forest in a return to ACC action over the weekend.