A weekend that had gone terribly wrong for N.C. State’s baseball team took a right turn for the Wolfpack on Sunday.
After losing the first two games of an ACC series to Clemson and losing All-America shortstop Trea Turner to injury Friday, the ninth-ranked Wolfpack righted itself with a confidence-boosting 4-1 victory over the Tigers at Doak Field.
Turner, who was leading the Wolfpack in hitting (.464) and home runs (5) and was tied for the team lead in RBIs (18), sprained his ankle on the final play of Friday’s series opener and will be out four-to-six weeks. Turner, who set a school record for stolen bases with 57 last season, was 8-for-8 this year.
On Sunday, the Wolfpack (12-4, 1-2 ACC) pounded out 10 hits in his absence. Jake Fincher went 4-for-4, Bryan Adametz had a pair of doubles in Turner’s leadoff spot, designated hitter Will Nance had a pair of hits and Sam Morgan delivered a two-run, pinch-hit double in the eighth inning to lead the N.C. State offense.
“Trea is a huge loss to our team,” Fincher said. “He just plays the game the right way. We need him back as soon as we can. Anybody who can pick up the slack in the meantime … it’s going to have to happen.”
“It’s never good to lose two straight,” Fincher said. “We really wanted to come out here and get a win. It feels good to get this one.”
The Wolfpack got a solid start from freshman left-hander Brad Stone, who gave up one run in 41/3 innings on six hits. Relievers Josh Easley, Grant Sasser and Ryan Wilkins contributed 42/3 scoreless innings, with Wilkins going the final 22/3 for his second save.
Wilkins, a senior right-hander, has not given up a run this season in six appearances.
“Losing two in a row, you have to come back and win that last game,” Wilkins said. “Especially in the ACC; you get swept you are down big-time. That was a huge win for us today, getting the confidence going (after) losing Trea and everything else.”
Clemson also had 10 hits, with Shane Kennedy and Maleeke Gibson each getting a pair of hits.
“We had a good weekend,” Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. “(N.C. State) has got a good ball club, and it was good to get out of here with two victories.”
The Wolfpack broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the sixth inning when Fincher led off with a triple and scored on Nance’s RBI single. Fincher led off the eighth with a single and Morgan drove in a pair of runs with a two-out double over the Clemson center fielder’s head.
The Wolfpack made four errors but also made some plays in the field — Fincher and Adametz each threw out a Clemson runner at the plate.
|Brittle cf||3||0||1||0||Adametz lf||4||0||2||0|
|Baum 3b||5||0||1||0||Austin c||4||0||1||0|
|Wilkersn 2b||4||0||1||1||Williams cf||4||0||0||0|
|Boulware c||4||0||1||0||Senay 1b||4||0||0||0|
|Duggar rf||4||0||1||0||Fincher rf||4||3||4||0|
|Kennedy dh||3||0||2||0||Nance dh||4||0||2||1|
|Bradley dh||1||0||0||0||Armstrng 3b||3||0||0||0|
|McGibbn 1b||4||0||0||0||Bergquist ss||3||1||0||1|
|Krieger ss||3||0||1||0||Ratledge 2b||3||0||0||0|
|Gibson lf||4||1||2||0||Rodon ph||0||0||0||0|
E—Gibson (1); Bergquist (3); Ratledge (1); Stone (1); Sasser (1). LOB—Clemson 10; N.C. State 9. 2B—Boulware (4); Adametz 2 (5); Austin (6); Morgan (4). 3B—Fincher (1). HBP—Brittle; Krieger; Armstrong. SH—Brittle (2). SB—Baum (5); Wilkerson (6); Duggar (1); Armstrong (3). CS—Duggar (3); Fincher (2).
Easley faced 1 batter in the 6th.
Moorefield faced 1 batter in the 8th.
WP—Bates (1). HBP—by Firth (Armstrong); by Sasser (Brittle); by Wilkins (Krieger). BK—Firth (1); Erwin (1). Umpires—HP: Mark Chapman 1B: Tony Walsh 3B: A.J. Lostaglio. T—3:09. A—2,087.