April 8, 2011
Box Score (PDF)
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Cory Mazzoni can't pitch much better than this, or have worse luck. Despite 11 strikeouts and a dominating performance from NC State's ace righthander Friday night, the Wolfpack dropped a 4-1 decision in its series opener at Miami at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Make no mistake about it, Mazzoni was outstanding despite taking the loss and falling to 2-4 on the season. Miami scored three runs on five hits in the first inning. One hit was a bunt, and two others were ground balls that found holes in the infield. Brad Fieger's single through the right side of the infield chased home Nathan Melendres with the third run of the inning, and Chris Pelaez followed with a single to center field.
Mazzoni threw the hammer down at that point, stifling the Hurricanes from then until the eighth inning. He retired the next seven men in a row, four on strikes, and 20 of the next 22 before Zeke DeVoss led off the eighth with a walk, Mazzoni's first of the game. Mazzoni wound up working 7 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits. He walked two and set a new career high for strikeouts in an ACC game with 11.
Mazzoni has recorded double digits in strikeouts in each of his last three appearances. He is the first NC State pitcher to do so since at least 1998. Mike Rogers struck out 10 or more three times in a four-game span in 2004, and Vern Sterry did so four times in a six-game span in 2003, but neither fanned 10 or more in three consecutive appearances.
Mazzoni's bad luck was running up against a hot pitching staff for Miami. The Wolfpack (18-13, 5-8 ACC) had a difficult time getting the bats going against Hurricanes lefthander Bryan Radziewski (5-2), who worked 5 2/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run on three hits. Relievers Travis Miller and Daniel Miranda combined to pitch 3 1/3 shutout innings, with Miranda getting his eighth save.
Andrew Ciencin and Cameron Conner represented four of NC State's five hits. NC State's only run of the evening came in the fifth when Conner led off with a single, then took third two batters later on Matt Bergquist's single, scoring on a Miami throwing error on the play.
Miami did not need a hit to add an insurance run in the eighth. DeVoss drew the walk to lead off, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly to center.
The Wolfpack made a final stand in the ninth. Facing Miranda, Ciencin made it aboard with a one-out single. Conner pushed him to second on a single with two outs, but Miranda finally calmed the threat as pinch-hitter Ryan Matthews lined out on a 2-2 count.
Game two of the three-game series will be Saturday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and will be available on-line on GoPack.com's All-Access package. Live stats will be available on Gametracker. Just click the Gametracker icon on the baseball schedule page on GoPack.com.
As always, please visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.