Efficient Wolfpack top Clemson in ACC baseball opener

The (Raleigh)May 23, 2013 


N.C. State catcher Jake Fincher (30) (right) greets teammate Grant Clyde (22) after Clyde connected for a home run in the second inning to tie the Wolfpack's game against Clemson 1-1 on Wednesday May 22, 2013 during the ACC Baseball Tournament at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com

— 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 dh4120Turner ss2100
Wlkrsn 2b4010Fincher rf4121
Duggar rf4010Austin c4012
Blware c4121Senay 1b3000
Kenndy 3b4100Clyde 3b4111
Krieger ss4000Wllms rf4000
McGbn 1b3010Adamtz lf4010
Brittle cf2000Armstrg dh2210
Slaton lf2000Rtldge 2b3100
Bradley p h1000
Triller lf0000
Totals 32381Totals 30664

NC State01100040x6

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).

Gossett L,9-461/366526

Stone W,5-2562113

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.

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