Matt Willadsen has been a critical part of this NC State team over the last few weeks, standing not only as a stopper but also as a guy who could provide solid innings for a team that has a bullpen enduring a crisis of confidence.
Elliott Avent trusts that he can give Willadsen 100 pitches, and the team can go from there. The details turned out not to be particularly important today—Willadsen could have been better, the offense could have taken better advantage of early opportunities—but the process made for a fine Saturday as he went seven and State cruised.
It’s not always this simple, but it was today; or at least it was late. NC State spent the first half of the game stranding runners on base, which kept Duke in the game. NC State did eventually wake up from that particular funk, thanks to a three-run big fly from Devonte Brown, who pushed a 4-3 lead to 7-3. From there, the rout was on.
NC State goes for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET. (Weather pending.)