DURHAM N.C. — N.C. State got everything it wanted Wednesday out of its ACC baseball championship opener.
The Wolfpack got a victory, beating Clemson 6-3 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The ninth-ranked Wolfpack got a strong start from Brad Stone, a freshman left-hander. It got timely hits, sound defense and more effective work from its bullpen.
The Wolfpack had a four-run seventh inning, knocking out Clemson starter Daniel Gossett and bolting to a 6-2 lead.
Jake Fincher delivered an RBI single and Brett Austin smacked a two-run double in the seventh. Another run scored on a bobbled throw to third after Fincher’s single to left.
Stone gave the Wolfpack five efficient innings before running into trouble in the sixth.
Coach Elliott Avent turned to his bullpen, a Wolfpack strong point all season, and brought in Josh Easley to limit the damage to one run in the sixth and defuse the Tigers during a tidy four-inning stint.
Grant Clyde had a solo home run for N.C. State, which will face Miami in its second tournament game Friday at 11 a.m.
The Hurricanes will face top-seeded North Carolina on Thursday in their first tournament game.
The Wolfpack matched Clemson’s speed with power early in the game.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second when Shane Kennedy hustled to first to thwart a double play, then stole second and third. Kennedy, who has 20 stolen bases on the season, scored on a passed ball by Austin.
Clyde tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the inning in more dramatic fashion — a towering home run to left, his fourth of the season.
The Wolfpack moved ahead 2-1 in the third as Austin motored down the first-base line to beat out a throw. Tigers second baseman Steve Wilkerson couldn’t handle Austin’s hard grounder as Jake Armstrong scored.
Armstrong had singled to lead off the third, advancing on a sacrifice bunt.
|Gibson dh||4||1||2||0||Turner ss||2||1||0||0|
|Wlkrsn 2b||4||0||1||0||Fincher rf||4||1||2||1|
|Duggar rf||4||0||1||0||Austin c||4||0||1||2|
|Blware c||4||1||2||1||Senay 1b||3||0||0||0|
|Kenndy 3b||4||1||0||0||Clyde 3b||4||1||1||1|
|Krieger ss||4||0||0||0||Wllms rf||4||0||0||0|
|McGbn 1b||3||0||1||0||Adamtz lf||4||0||1||0|
|Brittle cf||2||0||0||0||Armstrg dh||2||2||1||0|
|Slaton lf||2||0||0||0||Rtldge 2b||3||1||0||0|
|Bradley p h||1||0||0||0|
|Totals 32||3||8||1||Totals 30||6||6||4|
E—Wilkerson (13); Kennedy (7). DP—NCSU 1. LOB—Clemson 3; NCSU 6. 2B— Boulware (11); Austin (19) HR—Boulware (8); Clyde (4). HBP—Senay; Armstrong. SH—Ratledge (10). SB—Kennedy 2 (20); McGibbon (7). CS—Brittle (4).
Stone faced 3 batters in the 6th.
WP—Gossett (15). HBP—by Gossett (Senay); by Gossett (Armstrong). PB—Austin (11). Umpires—HP: Troy Fullwood 1B: Steve Manders 2B: Barry Chambers 3B: Frank Sylvester. T—2:30. A—4,834.