Finally, an ACC series win! And a timely one, too. It required some dramatics, but NC State picked up two out of three from No. 11 Louisville over the weekend.
Friday night saw Gino Groover play the hero, as the Wolfpack erased a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5.
CLUTCH, GINO. CLUTCH!!#PACK9 | @groover_gino pic.twitter.com/L3obCMXh5r— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) April 1, 2023
That game was, for most of the night, not eventful at all. NC State scored a couple in the bottom of the first and held a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, where the Cardinals mounted a rally against Sam Highfill, who didn’t have his usual command.
Louisville loaded the bases with nobody out and tied the game thanks to a walk. The Cards got a run off a fielder’s choice to take the lead, and added two more with a two-out double.
The eighth-inning hiccup nearly ruined a great start by Logan Whitaker, who went seven innings and struck out seven, while allowing one run on just four hits.
Saturday’s game was another low-scoring affair, at least first the first five innings. Matt Willadsen was excellent in six innings of scoreless work, though the Pack led only 1-0 headed into the bottom of the sixth. State got four runs in the frame to create some separation, highlighted by Eli Serrano’s two-run single.
NC State added five more runs in the seventh and Serrano was involved again, this time driving home two with a double. Serrano reached base in all four of his plate appearances.
Willadsen and Justin Lawson combined to keep Louisville off the scoreboard as the Pack cruised to the 10-0 win.
Louisville avoided the sweep with a 6-1 win on Sunday; still, the Cardinals managed just five hits on the afternoon. They got two runs in the fourth and fifth off of Dominic Fritton, and scored two more in the eighth, both on bases-loaded walks. (Gross.)
A sweep would have been nice, but the series win is the important thing, especially with a difficult week ahead: a trip to ECU on Tuesday followed by a weekend set at Wake Forest.