March 24, 2011
Game Notes (PDF)
RALEIGH, N.C. — NC State will host Clemson in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series this weekend at Doak Field at Dail Park. Game times are set for 6:30 on Friday and Saturday nights, and 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon.
All three games will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and will be available on-line with video streaming 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.
Promotions This Weekend
Friday night will be Which Wich baseball bingo night, and Preiss Co. Free Tee Friday. The first 100 students through the gates will receive free NC State baseball t-shirts.
Saturday will be Domino’s student appreciation night, with free pizza to the first 150 students. Also, the first 500 fans receive the set #1 of the 2011 NC State baseball trading card set.
Sunday will be hat day, with free NC State hats to the first 500 fans. Sunday also will be the Zaxby’s residence hall challenge. Receive a discount from Zaxby’s and sign your residence hall up to win a Zaxby’s party.
NC State vs. Clemson
Clemson has been one of NC State’s most difficult opponents over the years. The Tigers lead the series 104-68-1, and have beaten NC State more times than any other opponents aside from North Carolina and Duke.
Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent is 17-32 against Clemson in his 14-plus seasons in Raleigh. Avent is 10-8 vs. the Tigers at Doak Field at Dail Park, 2-1 at Grainger Stadium in Kinston, 3-17 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, and 1-0 at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro. NC State is 4-5 vs. Clemson in Raleigh since the renovated Doak Field at Dail Park reopened in 2004.
The Starting Rotation
NC State will send junior righthander Cory Mazzoni (1-2, 3.31) to the mound Friday to pitch the first game of the series against junior righthander Scott Weismann (2-2, 5.84) for Clemson. Sophomore righthander Danny Healey (1-2, 6.49) and freshman lefty D.J. Thomas (0-1, 4.85) will start the final two games of the series for the Wolfpack, although the order of their starts is still to be determined. Clemson’s Saturday starter is still to be determined. The Tigers will start sophomore righthander Scott Firth (1-0, 2.93) in the final game of the series.
Who’s Hot For The Wolfpack
The NC State offense has been looking for a jump start much of the season and is averaging just less than five runs per game the last seven games. Several players are showing signs of life with the bats, however.
• Harold Riggins is hitting .333 (8-for-24) with two doubles, a home run and nine RBIs in seven games dating back to March 15 vs. Buffalo.
• John Gianis has six hits and three RBIs in his last 13 at-bats, a .462 average.
• Chris Schaeffer is batting .385 (5-for-13) with two doubles and a homer in five games dating back to March 16 vs. George Mason.
• Pratt Maynard is hitting .348 (8-for-23) in six games dating back to March 16 vs. George Mason.
• Peter Bako has begun to get playing time thanks to six hits, including two doubles, in his last nine at-bats.
• Danny Canela is batting .308 (4-for-13) in five games dating back to March 16 vs. George Mason.
Stop The Presses! Sasser Allows An Earned Run
After 12 innings without allowing an earned run and 9 2/3 innings without allowing a run of any kind, junior lefthander Grant Sasser proved himself human on March 23 vs. Northwestern, allowing the Wildcats an earned run while notching his third save of the season. Despite the “earnie,” Sasser has had an excellent 2011 season.
In his last four outings prior to the Northwestern game, Sasser worked six innings, recorded two saves and allowed just three hits and three walks in 25 opponents’ plate appearances. Sasser retired 19 of the 26 men he faced in those four games, and of the seven who reached base, one did so on an error and another struck out but was safe on a wild pitch.
Following the Northwestern game, Sasser was 1-1 with three saves and a 0.69 ERA.
Overman Helping Anchor Strong Bullpen
NC State’s bullpen has a 4.04 ERA through the first 22 games, and sophomore righthander Chris Overman is a big part of that bullpen. Overman is tied for the bullpen lead in appearances with nine, and leads the pen in innings with 16 1/3.
Overman is 4-0 with a 3.31 ERA for the season. In his last five appearances heading into the Clemson series, he is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, and has allowed seven runs, walked one and struck out eight in 11 innings. After allowing four runs, three earned, in 2 1/3 innings on Feb. 19 at Elon in his first outing of the year, Overman is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings over his last eight appearances.
Overman has gotten better as the season has progressed. In his last five appearances, he has retired 31 of the 38 men he has faced, allowing opponents a .184 on-base percentage. In two of those outings, March 15 vs. Buffalo and March 22 vs, Northwestern, Overman was dominant for an extended time.
In 4 2/3 innings against Buffalo, he allowed a solo homer to the first man he faced, then retired the final 14 batters of the game in order. In 3 2/3 innings vs. Northwestern, he allowed one hit in 3 2/3 shutout innings, retiring 10 of the 11 men he faced.
Wolfpack Wins At Crazy Eights Vs. Northwestern
Eighth-inning rallies lifted NC State past Northwestern on March 22 and 23. Both games were tied going into the bottom of the eighth, and the Wolfpack got the tiebreaking doubles against the same unfortunate Northwestern reliever.
On March 22, Matt Bergquist greeted reliever Paul Snieder with a bases-loaded two-run double into the left-field corner. The runner from first base was thrown out at the plate, but Peter Bako followed Bergquist with a double to left-center to give the Wolfpack an 8-5 lead.
The game on March 23 featured two lead changes in the first five innings, followed by a wild finish in the eighth and ninth. NC State tied the game at 5-5 on a seventh-inning RBI single by Harold Riggins. The Wolfpack loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the eighth, and John Gianis lined a bullet off the thigh of Wildcats reliever Ethan Bramschreiber.
The line drive to the thigh knocked Bramschreiber out of the game, but not before he showed the moxy to retrieve the ball and start a 1-2-5 double play, erasing the two lead runners at home and third base.
Snieder came in for the injured Bramschreiber, and Andrew Ciencin hit a 2-1 fastball down the left-field line and into the corner to drive in the go-ahead run. Pratt Maynard appeared to end the rally with a sky-high pop-up near the pitcher’s mound, but Snieder, after calling the rest of the infielders off the play, let the ball drop untouched for an error, allowing both baserunners to score.
The two extra runs proved costly to Northwestern, which scored twice in the ninth and had the tying run on base before Grant Sasser ended it by rolling a double play grounder.
Following this weekend’s series vs. Clemson, NC State will have played 18 games in 24 days, and after this coming Tuesday’s game at UNC Greensboro, it will be 19 games in 26 days. The Wolfpack and Spartans will kick things off at 6 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Next weekend, Wake Forest comes to Doak Field at Dail Park for a three-game ACC series. Game times are 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
As always, please visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.