In a game completely different from the one the two teams played just four days earlier, NC State and Campbell took part in a pitchers duel on Wednesday in Buies Creek, NC, with the Wolfpack earning the 4-1 victory. The game marked NC State’s first of the 2018 season away from the comfy confines of Doak Field at Dail Park.
After a relatively uneventful first inning-and-a-half, Campbell pushed across the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by 1B Kevin Barron (0-3, RBI), scoring RF Joe Zarolli. Zarolli (1-4, R) had reached on an error and then advanced to third base on a single by Ty Babin (2-4).
NC State tied the game up in the top of the third inning when Brock Deatherage (1-2, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SB) scored on a double by David Vazquez (1-1, 2B, RBI). Deatherage had reached on a walk, he then stole second base and advanced to third when the Campbell catcher’s throw to second went into center field.
The Wolfpack took the lead in the fifth inning when Deatherage, again, scored; this time on an RBI single off the bat of Dillon Cooper (1-3, RBI). Similar to the third inning, Deatherage reached in the fifth on a bunt single, then stole second base, and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
The game remained at 2-1 until the ninth inning when the Pack added two insurance runs. Patrick Bailey (0-3, R, BB) and Deatherage started off the inning with back-to-back walks. Cooper then put down a two-strike sacrifice bunt to move the runners up. JT Jarrett (1-2, RBI) scored Bailey on a bunt single before an intentional walk to Brett Kinneman (1-3, 2 BB) and another walk to Will Wilson (1-3, RBI, 2 BB) plated the final Wolfpack run of the day.
The NC State bullpen was terrific on the day with five pitchers combining in relief of starter Michael Bienlien to pitch seven shutout innings. Bienlien (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 HBP) wasn’t his sharpest, but was able to work out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the first unscathed. Evan Justice (2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K) earned the win, his second of the season. Nick Swiney (1.0 IP, 2 K), Nolan Clenney (2.0 IP, 4 K), and Kent Klyman (0.2 IP) followed before Reid Johnston (1.0 IP, 1 K) came on for his third save of the season. Johnston’s three saves tie him with Joe O’Donnell for the team lead.
The Wolfpack will be back at it again on Friday when they return home for a three-game series with Boston College (5-6) to open up ACC play. First pitch for Friday’s game is at 3:00pm.