#Pack9 clinches series with 13-5 Win Over Duke
DURHAM, North Carolina – NC State Baseball (32-16, 14-11 ACC) earned a convincing 13-5 win Saturday afternoon over Duke (20-29, 9-17 ACC) at Jack Coombs Field, earning its fourth ACC series of the season.
The Wolfpack hit first with three in the second, but the Blue Devils tied things up in the third with three of their own. NC State then scored nine unanswered runs before the Blue Devils managed to get two late runs, but the comeback attempt wasn’t enough.
The Pack went up the board with three points in the second while Devonte Brown and Tommy White drew steps loaded with bases and Josh Hood scored the frame’s third RBI with a sack volley to center field.
The Blue Devils broke through in the third when they tied the game at 3-3 on a two-run single from Chad Knight followed by an RBI brace from Luke Storm.
NC State regained their lead in the fourth on a squeeze play with JT Jarret on the plate. Hood and Dominique Pilolli tallied back-to-back hits to put the runners in the corners, and Jarrett put down the bag bunt to get the go-ahead and make it 4-3.
In the fifth, the Pack added four more runs to extend their lead to 8-3 on back-to-back homers from Brown and LuJames Groover III. Payton Green started the inning with a field single and Jacob Godman drew a walk to allow Brown to drive in three-pointers with his 13th of the season to left field, then Groover belted a solo shot to the left-field wall to tack on the final run of the inning.
White scored his second hit of the game in the seventh, bringing Groover home from second place after hitting his team-leading 13th double to start the inning. Then, with the bases loaded after a walk and fielder’s pick, another fielder’s pick and error along with a base-laden pitch-per-pitch push pushed three runs to extend the Wolfpack lead to 12- 3.
The Blue Devils cut their deficit in the eighth thanks to Storm’s 2-RBI brace, making it 12-5, but the Pack responded in the ninth when Green led Jarrett from third on a sack steal to center field after he hit on a hit.
Starting pitcher Willadsen pitched seven full innings to earn his third straight win on the mound and improve to 4-3 this year. He allowed just two earned runs on five hits, allowing three walks while striking out four batters. Baker Nelson closed out the game, allowing two runs and three hits in the final two innings of the contest.
All nine starters on the roster totaled at least one hit in the game. Green, Groover, Hood and White all had two hits each in the contest while five others had one each to combine for 13 in the game. Additionally, Brown drove in a team-high four runs, while White had two.
NC State and Duke will meet for the series finale on Sunday, with a first pitch set for 1 p.m. at Jack Coombs Field. The match will be broadcast on Regional Sports Networks (RSN) and there will be a radio broadcast on WKNC 88.1 and the Varsity Network app.