Pack takes series at No. 14 Clemson
Posted April 7
NC State baseball took its second-straight series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium with a 7-1 win over No. 14 Clemson (20-11, 9-5 ACC) on Monday night thanks to strong performances from several newcomers.
Wolfpack (19-12, 5-10) freshmen Nathan Hood, Garrett Suggs, and Preston Palmeiro accounted for five of the seven runs scored in the win. Joe O'Donnell (1-0) retired the first nine batters he faced in four shutout innings for his first collegiate win. Patrick Peterson claimed his first save in Wolfpack red thanks to seven strikeouts in the final three innings, at one point fanning five of six.
In the Pack's last trip to Clemson in 2012, after dropping a 7-6 decision in 12 innings, State rebounded in similar fashion with a pair of wins to take the series. State has now won four of its last six at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Prior to that, the Pack had lost 13 of 14 at Clemson.
Hood finished 2-for-2 with two runs and a double. Suggs added a double of his own in a 1-for-3 outing with two runs. The Wolfpack improves to 5-0 with Palmeiro in the lineup, as the freshman first baseman went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Palmeiro is batting .467 (7-for-15) since last Tuesday's win at Campbell. Freshman Andrew Knizner drove in a pair. Logan Ratledge and Jake Fincher went 2-for-4.
NC State scored in the top first for the second-straight contest as Trea Turner drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Knizner sent a two-out RBI single to center to drive in the game's first run.
State stretched that margin to 3-0 in the second. Ratledge, Jake Armstrong, and Suggs reached consecutively to load the bases with nobody out. A 1-2-3 double play left runners at second and third with two down after a tapper in front of the plate. Palmeiro reached on a throwing error from short on a chopper up the middle to score both runs.
Clemson trimmed the lead to 3-1 in the bottom second when Jay Baum doubled, then took third and home on a pair of wild pitches.
The Pack reclaimed that run in the fourth to make it 4-1. Suggs knocked a one-out double to left center. Turner was ejected after a called strike three on his check swing during the next at-bat. Palmeiro singled up the middle to score Suggs next.
O'Donnell afforded State some breathing room by mowing down the first nine batters he faced, and 11 of 14 total. Hood led off the Wolfpack seventh with an infield single. Palmeiro walked and John Mangum bunted the pair over to put two in scoring position. Knizner pushed Hood home on a sac fly to left.
Peterson entered with two on and nobody out in the seventh, but held Clemson scoreless by inducing a grounder, then dealing a swinging strikeout with one away and the bases loaded. Hood made an over-the-head grab on a liner to left to end the inning without any damage. State tacked on two more for insurance in the ninth, started by Hood's double ripped down the right field line.
NC State returns to action on Wednesday, April 9 at 6 p.m. with a trip to East Carolina.