BSB: Pack holds off Panthers, 8-6, to clinch series
Posted May 13
The NC State baseball team held off a late rally from the Pittsburgh Panthers Saturday night to earn an 8-6 win at Charles L. Cost Field to clinch the series. With the win, the Wolfpack has now won 10 of its last 11 games and five consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) games.
NC State moves to 30-21 on the year and 13-13 in ACC action, while Pitt falls to 22-26 and 8-18 in conference play. Junior Brian Brown picked up the win on the mound to move to 3-1, while Joe O’Donnell notched his seventh save and Pitt’s Josh Falk suffered the loss.
Freshman Brad Debo led the Wolfpack at the plate with a 3-for-5 outing, highlighted by a solo home run and three RBI. Stephen Pitarra also logged a three-hit performance with a run scored and an RBI. Brett Kinneman was 2-for-4 to extend his reached base safely streak to 11 games.
Andy Cosgrove, Joe Dunand, Josh McLain, Evan Mendoza and Will Wilson each had one hit as eight of NC State’s batters in the starting lineup had a hit.
For the second consecutive game, NC State plated the game’s first run as Debo doubled down the right field line to score Pitarra from first. Pittsburgh countered in the bottom half to even the tally at one apiece following an RBI single from Frank Maldonado.
The Wolfpack bats erupted in the second inning with seven hits to score six runs in the frame, chasing Pittsburgh starter Falk in the process. NC State batters tallied four consecutive RBI hits and sent 11 batters to the plate, as the Pack matched its ACC season-high with six runs in the frame.
Mendoza started the inning by working a walk on a 3-2 pitch and he scored a nicely executed hit-and-run, as Cosgrove ripped a double into the left field corner to give the Wolfpack a 2-1 advantage.
Pitarra started the string of four consecutive RBI hits with a single through the right side to score Cosgrove from third base. McLain followed with a double down the right field line, as Pitarra raced around to score from first to make it 4-1.
Debo smacked an RBI double to deep center field and Dunand laced an RBI single to right field to help NC State open a 6-1 advantage. Mendoza batted for the second time in the inning and drove in the final run of the frame with a single up the middle.
In the sixth inning, Debo launched a solo homer over the right field wall to extend the Wolfpack lead to 8-2 on his fourth blast of the season.
Pittsburgh put together a furious comeback in the eighth, but relief pitcher Tim Naughton got out of the inning with a swinging strikeout before O’Donnell came on in the ninth to shut it down.
NC State and Pitt will return to the field for the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.