After some struggles coming out of the pen during NC State’s last couple weekend series, pitcher Chris Villaman returned to form in a starting role on Tuesday night and stifled the Appalachian State offense, just as he did three weeks ago.
Villaman’s only major stretch of trouble came in the third inning, when the Mountaineers scored two runs on four hits; he responded to that outburst by retiring 12 consecutive App batters, which took him into the seventh inning.
And by that point, the Wolfpack bats had given him seven runs to work with. The heart of the Pack’s order was excellent this evening: Tyler McDonough was 2-4 with a homer, Luca Tresh was 2-5, and Jonny Butler was 3-4 with a homer. Those three guys combined to drive in five runs.
The Mountaineers threatened to make this game far more tense down the stretch, loading the bases in both the seventh and eighth innings. Fortunately, both were two-out rallies, and the Pack’s pitching got the clutch outs necessary to prevent runs from scoring in either situation.
NC State improved to 20-13 overall with the win, and has won 11 of 13. The Wolfpack returns to action at Wake Forest on Friday.