NC State Returns Home To Host East Carolina On Wednesday
March 28, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Wolfpack's weekend in Clemson was not one to remember. So NC State (21-8) will look to make some memories back at home, beginning Wednesday night against East Carolina (17-9).
Game time at Doak Field at Dail Park is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC (88.1 FM) on on-line at gopack.com through Yahoo's subscription service.
THE STARTING PITCHER: Senior lefthander Jason Duncan (4--0, 4.85) will start Wednesday for NC State vs. ECU. Duncan has made eight appearances, half of them starts, and has allowed 18 runs, 14 earned, on 30 hits in 26 innings. He has walked 10 and struck out 18. Duncan's last appearance was a relief outing March 18 vs. Georgia Tech and he was charged with a run on two hits without recording an out. His last start was March 8 vs. The Citadel, and he got the win against the Bulldogs by allowing just two runs, one earned, on five hits in six innings, the longest outing of his career. He struck out two and did not issue a walk. A year ago, Duncan faced East Carolina twice and worked five scoreless innings against the Pirates, allowing just two hits and striking out five without issuing a walk. In six career appearances against ECU, Duncan has no record and a 0.90 ERA. He has allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, on nine hits in 10 innings of work, with five walks and nine strikeouts.
NC STATE VS. EAST CAROLINA: NC State holds a 56-35 advantage in the series with the Pirates. NC State won three of four meetings with ECU a year ago, including two wins in Greenville, but the Pirates have won eight of the last 14 meetings between the two schools. Wolfpack head coach Elliott Avent holds a 7-8 record against East Carolina.
LAST YEAR VS. THE PIRATES: NC State won three of four games from East Carolina in 2005. The Pirates laid a 13-1 whipping on the Wolfpack on February 26 at the Homewood Suites Shootout in Charleston, S.C. Adam Witter doubled, homered and drove in four runs, and Marc Minicozzi had four hits and three RBIs in six at-bats. ECU came to Doak Field at Dail Park on April 6 and the Wolfpack ambushed the Pirates, scoring eight runs in the third inning and coasting to an 11-4 win. Matt Camp and Matt Devine had two hits and two RBIs apiece, and Ramon Corona went 3-for-4. Phil Davidson allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings to get the win, and Andrew Brackman pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
NC State defeated East Carolina 3-0 in Greenville on April 20, and Brackman made his first college start a memorable one, allowing just two hits in six shutout innings. Jason Duncan worked two perfect innings in relief, and Joey Devine struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to record the save. On May 10, the Wolfpack returned to Greenville and used the same formula to get the same results, a 3-0 victory. Brackman started and allowed just two hits in five innings. Duncan worked three innings and allowed just a pair if hits. Devine worked the ninth, allowing a harmless single and striking out two.
BIG-INNING WEEKEND: There is an old baseball adage that in most games, the winning team scores as many runs or more in one inning than the losing team scores in the entire game. That was certainly true for NC State this past weekend at Clemson. In the first two games of the series, Clemson scored in only three of 16 offensive innings, but those three innings produced five, four and four runs as the Tigers won by scores of 9-5 and 4-2. In the other 13 innings in those two games, NC State pitching allowed no runs on just three hits. Clemson got 11 of its 12 hits in the first two innings of the first game, and five of its seven hits in the fourth inning of the second game. And won both games.
NC STATE IN THE RANKINGS: NC State's up-and-down season continues to be reflected in the national polls this week. The Pack dropped competely out of three of the five national polls -- Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and The Rosenblatt Report -- and fell in the other two, dropping from 14th to 21st in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll, and from 12th to 17th in the USA Today coaches poll.
THE ACC IN THE RANKINGS: Currently, the Atlantic Coast Conference has at least five and as many as seven teams ranked in the five national polls. Florida State is No. 1 in four of the five polls, and FSU, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Clemson are ranked in the top 10 of all five polls. Virginia is ranked in all five polls, anywhere from 14th to 23rd, and Miami is ranked in four of the five polls.
NC STATE LEADING ACC IN OFFENSE: Will Kimmey of Baseball America said in a recent on-line chat that NC State may have the best offense in the country. Clemson didn't think so, limiting the Wolfpack to nine runs on 21 hits this past weekend in Death Valley, but despite the bump in the road, NC State still is the Atlantic Coast Conference pacesetter offensively.
NC State heads into play this week leading the conference in batting average (.352), on-base percentage (.451), runs scored (284), hits (370), doubles (74), RBIs (256), and walks (169).
HOME TURF: Since Doak Field underwent a $5 million renovation during the 2003-04 seasons, NC State has been tough to beat at home. Although the Wolfpack played 10 games at the Doak in 2003 and 27 more in 2004, those were played while the ballpark still was under construction.
The 2005 season was the first season for the new Doak Field at Dail Park, and the Pack protected its home field well, posting a 27-5 record at home, the fifth best home record since the Doak first opened in 1966. Toss in a 15-4 record at home thus far this year and NC State is 42-9 at home since Doak Field at Dail Park re-opened in 2005.
MIDWEEK WARRIORS: NC State was a perfect 12-0 in midweek games in 2005. The Wolfpack is 5-0 in midweek games this season, and won its last midweek game in 2004, giving the Pack an 18-game midweek winning streak.