You can win with skill and you can win with luck, but when you have both going for you, things can get ugly for the competition. Unfortunately for NC State, Louisville - an incredibly talented team - had both going for them this weekend in Raleigh, sweeping the Wolfpack and taking over 1st place in the ACC Atlantic Division.
The Friday night game between the two teams ended up being rained out, so the teams played a double-header on Saturday instead. With the rain having not yet completely ended by the start of the first game, field conditions (especially in the outfield) were a bit of a mess, contributing to some misplays and non-scorebook level errors.
The Cardinals pounded out 14 runs on 18 hits in the first game, using a combination of luckily placed hits as well as some hard-hit shots. NC State kept the game close, but ultimately couldn’t muster the offense to complete a comeback and fell 14-10. Johnny Butler, Will Wilson, and Evan Edwards all had two hits each in the game, with Wilson’s two hits both being solo home runs. Patrick Bailey also homered (also solo) in the game.
In the second game, Louisville just absolutely destroyed the Wolfpack in all facets of the game, save for a Luca Tresh two-run home run in the 6th inning. Tyler McDonough did have three hits and a stolen base in the game, though. You have now read every single one of the NC State highlights of this 14-2 game.
The Sunday series finale was much closer, but NC State was unable to capitalize on the opportunities it created and fell 6-3. Edwards had two hits in the game and Wilson went yard for the third time in the series, but it - again - was a solo home run.
Louisville now maintains control of the ACC Atlantic Division with a one game lead over NC State, plus the head-to-head tie-breaker, and a two game lead over Clemson. The Tigers were swept this weekend at Florida State; however, Clemson took two-of-three earlier in the season in their series with the Cardinals.
The Wolfpack have now lost five in a row, but - hey - if you’re going to slump, do it now instead of at the end of the season. Right?
NC State plays a Tuesday midweek contest at UNC-Wilmington before heading to Winston-Salem for a three-game road conference series against Wake Forest.