Chris Villaman was absolutely electric on Tuesday night, pitching 8.0 innings of dominant baseball to lead NC State to a 9-1 victory over UNC-Wilmington in the final regular season non-conference game for the Wolfpack.
With the win, NC State improves to 23-14 on the season. The Seahawks fall to 26-17.
Villaman cruised throughout in this one, allowing just four UNCW hitters to reach base safely in the game (3 hits and 1 walk). One additional batter reached on an error. Between the 4th and 8th innings, Villaman set down 13 straight Seahawks hitters. By the time he left the game following the conclusion of the 8th inning, the 2nd year lefty had set a new career-high in single game strikeouts with 12 while just allowing a single run.
With the UNCW bats being held at bay, the Wolfpack didn’t need much by way of offense, but they provided some fireworks anyhow with four no-doubter home runs being blasted out of the park.
Vojtech Mensik was the first NC State hitter to go yard, launching a two-run shot in the 2nd inning to push the Pack to a 3-0 lead. Luca Tresh mashed his mater the following inning, Jonny Butler bounced one off the face of the scoreboard in the 5th inning, and Devonte Brown capped off the home run frenzy with an awe-inspiring rocket in the 7th.
About the only thing that didn’t go State’s way offensively in this one was Tyler McDonough’s 53-game on-base streak coming to an end. It’s the 2nd longest streak for a Wolfpack player since Brian Wright’s 55-game streak over 20 years ago.
Brown (2-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB), Butler (2-4, 3B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Tresh (1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB), and Terrell Tatum (0-2, R, 2 BB, 3 SB) each reached base safely multiple times in the game.
Matt Willadsen finished off the 9th inning on the mound for State, allowing a two-out single sandwiched by strikeouts in a scoreless frame.
The Wolfpack will head north this weekend to take on Pittsburgh. The 18th ranked Panthers are currently a half game back of 1st place in the Coastal Division and sit just outside the top 25 in RPI. First pitch Friday is set for 6:00pm.