NC State’s poor defense reared its ugly head again on Sunday, costing the Wolfpack any chance it had at salvaging the final game of the weather-shortened series against Notre Dame. State ultimately fell by a final score of 11-4. Five of Notre Dame’s 11 runs were unearned.
The Wolfpack have now committed 25 errors in 15 games this season. Last year’s team committed just 36 errors over their 56 games.
The defense wasn’t the only issue for the Pack. Wild pitches allowed three Fighting Irish runs to cross the plate. In a game lost by seven runs, eight were pushed across due to either poor defense or an inability to keep the ball in front of the catcher.
This is apparently going to be a common theme for NC State this year. Replacing seven starters - and moving one of those two returnees to a new position while the other has missed a third of the season to date due to injury - was bound to have a negative impact, but this...
Payton Green drove in two runs on a single as part of State’s three-run 5th inning, while J.T. Jarrett drove in the other run in that inning, also on a single. Eddie Eisert hit a double in the 5th after a Will Marcy single.
Yes, four of State’s six hits on the day came in one inning.
Josh Hood popped a solo home run in the 9th inning. Jarrett (1-for-3, RBI, BB) was the only Wolfpack batter to reach base multiple times on the day.
On the mound, Matt Willadsen allowed just a single earned run (four runs total) on four hits over seven complete innings. He walked two and struck out six Irish batters. Baker Nelson also struck out the only two Notre Dame batters he faced on the day.
This recap is almost all doom-and-gloom, I know, and it’s hard not to feel that way when State’s defense allowed seven unearned runs over two games while Wolfpack pitchers let five more runs cross the plate thanks to wild pitches. It should be noted, however, that State took the 3rd-ranked Fighting Irish to extra innings in the opener and trailed by just a lone run heading into the 8th inning on Sunday.
Clean up the defense and errant pitches and State is 2-0 in the ACC right now. These are things that can be cleaned up. The issues are also exacerbated when they come against one of the best, most veteran, and defense-savvy teams in the country.
State will be back on the diamond Tuesday at 4:00pm at Elon (8-6) as the first of two midweek games this week. The Pack will be home on Wednesday at 7:00pm versus Coastal Carolina (10-6).