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NC State splits Sunday doubleheader at BC, drops another series


COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAR 12 NC State at Miami Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NC State came painfully close to sweeping a doubleheader this afternoon and winning its first league series, but another bullpen implosion proved costly—and for good measure, there was a defensive gaffe to finish off the Wolfpack’s 8-7 loss to BC in game two.

After taking the first game 12-2, NC State led 7-2 in the second as the game headed into the bottom of the sixth inning. A mere 12 outs from a nice confidence-building day. But Sam Highfill, who also pitched earlier in the day, allowed a four-run BC rally in that bottom half. Justin Lawson was able to work out of a one-out jam with runners on the corners to maintain the narrow lead.

Lawson was still pitching in eighth when Justin Wang, who hit a two-run shot in the sixth, hit a solo shot to tie the game at seven. The Wolfpack offense went quietly through the late innings, and in the bottom of the 10th, BC started a rally with two walks to begin the inning. A dropped sac fly in right later helped the Eagles’ game-winning run cross home plate.

Game one was kind of the reverse, as BC took a 2-1 lead into the sixth, where State scored five times to take the lead. Cannon Peebles hit a three-run shot to put the Pack up. In the eighth inning, NC State pushed another six runs across, highlighted by a Carter Trice grand slam.

Matt Willadsen was excellent in that first game, allowing two unearned runs over six innings of work. And Dominic Fritton was solid in game two, finishing with a career-high eight strikeouts over 4-1/3 IP. He allowed two runs on five hits. Maybe the outcome would have been different if he’d been able to go deeper into the game, but it wasn’t his most economical outing.

On Friday night, four runs proved enough offense for Boston College, as State managed to push only one run across. Logan Whitaker wasn’t bad, with the exception of that three-run home run he gave up in the third inning.

NC State is 3-6 in the ACC and returns home to host Louisville next weekend, followed by a trip to second-ranked Wake Forest the next. If State can’t bounce back against a good Cardinals team, this season might start to get ugly.