NC State snaps conference skid with win at Clemson
Posted April 6, 2014
Clemson, S.C. — D.J. Thomas tied his career long with 5 2/3 shutout innings of relief, while Trea Turner and Andrew Knizner combined to go 7-for-10 with three runs, three RBIs, two doubles and a homer, as NC State baseball returned to form with a 9-4 win over No. 15 Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday.
Turner led off the game by manufacturing a run in the first to give NC State (18-12, 4-10 ACC) a 1-0 lead, before Clemson (20-10, 9-4) stormed back with two unearned runs in the bottom first. Knizner’s solo shot to left, his fourth homer of the year, made it 2-2 in the top sixth. Turner plated the go-ahead RBI with two outs in the seventh. In the top ninth, State’s bats finally woke up to the tune of six runs. The Tigers scored twice in the bottom half to set the final at 9-4.
Wolfpack pitchers did not allow a walk for the first time since Carlos Rodon's NCAA Regional complete game against William & Mary on June 1, 2013. Thomas (2-0) claimed the win by holding Clemson to three hits while striking out a pair, retiring 17 of 20 batters on the afternoon including 12 in a row from the second to the sixth. The senior lefthander relieved starter Andrew Woeck after 1 1/3. Woeck allowed two unearned runs on three hits. Eric Peterson collected his second save of the year on two innings of relief to close.
Turner contributed four hits for the fourth time in his career, and first time since March 5, 2013, one off of his career high of five set April 21, 2012 against Boston College. He becomes the first Wolfpack hitter to record four hits since Logan Ratledge pulled the feat on March 5 against N.C. A&T. Turner returned to the leadoff spot for the fifth time this year.
Turner is batting .431 (22-for-51) from the top two spots in the order. He finished the day 4-for-5 with two runs, two RBIs, and the 97th stolen base of his career, 10th this year.
Knizner notched three hits for the third time in his career, two shy of his career high of five set March 15 at Florida State. The freshman doubled in his first two at-bats, then parked a solo shot in left to tie the game with his third. Knizner finished the day 3-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, a run, and an RBI.
Brett Austin went 2-for-5 with a double, a pair of RBIs, and a run scored. He and Knizner now share the team lead with seven doubles on the year. Preston Palmeiro drew the start at first and scored once. Jake Fincher drove in a pair with his second triple of the year, and scored on the same play by jarring the ball loose on a headfirst slide into third.
Jake Armstrong scored twice on the afternoon with a walk. Garrett Suggs went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Logan Ratledge added a 1-for-3 performance with a walk.
Turner scored in the first by leading off the game with a single through the left side, stealing second, then scoring from second on a passed ball. After Clemson scored twice in the bottom half, State answered with Knizner’s homer in the sixth to knot it 2-2.
Ratledge started the seventh-inning rally with a one-out single to center. A fielder’s choice left the Pack with two down and a runner on first. Suggs singled through the left side to set the stage for Turner, who delivered an RBI single up the middle to put State ahead 3-2.
NC State’s six-run rally in the ninth started with Armstrong’s one-out walk. Suggs was hit by pitch to put two on for Turner, who singled through the left side to make it 4-2. Palmeiro singled to short to put two on for Austin’s two-RBI double down the right field line. Fincher tripled with two outs and went diving into third headfirst. The collision knocked the ball free, allowing Fincher to race home and extend the lead to 9-2.