It lives! After dreadful performances in the first two games of this series, NC State's offense actually appeared competent Sunday in leading the team to a 9-4 victory over the Terps. It was a crucial win to help the Pack stay in the Atlantic Division picture--we're now three back of first-place FSU--and it prevented State from falling into a tie for fifth in the division, which woulda been all sorts of yikes.
As has been the case all weekend, NC State picked up runs early--the Pack scored four in the first inning, bouncing UMD starter Alex Robinson from the game. State added three more in the second, and that would be plenty of support for starter Brad Stone, who gave up four runs over six innings. That's not exactly a stellar performance, but given our rotation issues beyond Rodon, I wonder if Stone could work his way into the weekend rotation on a more permanent basis.
Eight Wolfpack players had at least two hits today, including Brett Austin, who has been outstanding of late. His .339/.403/.500 line is more like one would expect from a guy who was supplemental first round draft pick last year. He's not knockin' them out of the park, but he leads the team in doubles by a wide margin, and this is an infusion of power hitting this team really needed.
Looking ahead, State has an opportunity to get on the right side of .500 in league play with series against Virginia Tech and Boston College on the horizon. The Hokies are by no means chopped liver, but that series is in Raleigh. And Boston College is, well, see for yourself (pdf).