Another game against Pittsburgh, another game in which NC State got the early jump. The Wolfpack scored 11 runs over the first four innings on Sunday afternoon, which was plenty of cushion despite a few brain farts from the defense. State cruised to a 14-6 win and series sweep of the Panthers, and in the process pushed back above .500 in ACC play.
State broke the game open with a seven-run third inning that pushed its lead to 10-0. By that point in the game, almost everybody in the lineup had a base hit; heck, Joe Dunand had two hits in that one inning alone.
The Pack hit the ball hard in that inning—Joe Dunand and Evan Mendoza both registered doubles; Will Wilson hit one out to left—but Pitt self-destructed as well. The Panthers’ pitchers issued three walks and also threw a pair of wild pitches. One of those wild pitches gave State an extra out that cost Pitt another couple of runs.
At an earlier point in the game, Pitt executed a perfect throw from the outfield to home plate and had the runner out by a mile but the catcher couldn’t handle the throw. It was just that kind of day and that kind of weekend for the Panthers, who do not have enough depth to work around big mistakes.
Pitt starter Dan Hammer was finished after only 2-2/3rds, and Pitt brought in one reliever after another to no avail. Skipper Joe Jordano had had enough of the weekend by the bottom of the third and got himself tossed for arguing balls and strikes.
Can’t blame him for making an excuse to show himself out (the home plate ump was pretty bad tho); NC State scored 29 runs on this three-game road trip, and Sunday got depressing very quickly for the Panthers.
NC State is 31-21 overall and 11-1 since the debacle in Boston. The Wolfpack will close out the regular season with a three-game set against Clemson in Raleigh next weekend. State’s postseason outlook is still not ideal but as of right now they are probably in the NCAA tourney field, with opportunities on the horizon to add resume-building wins.