Baseball Handles Wake Forest in Series Opener, 7-2
RALEIGH, N.C. A superb effort from Clayton Shunick, coupled with nine hits peppered in by the Wolfpack offense, led NC State past Wake Forest, 7-2, at Doak Field at Dail Park on Friday, April 4. The win moves the Pack to 18-9 (6-6 ACC) on the year, while the Demon Deacons fall to 12-16 (5-7 ACC).
Shunick (3-3) carved out a gem on the hill for State, fanning a career-high 12 batters in 7.2 innings of work and allowing just four hits and one run en route to the decision. His 12 K’s during the game mark a season-high among all Wolfpack hurlers.
Garrett Bullock (3-2) took the loss for WFU, surrendering six hits and five runs, four of which were earned, in six innings.
Bullock got into trouble early, giving up three runs on three hits to State in the bottom of the first. Devon Cartwright set the table with a leadoff double that stayed just inside the third base line, and Bullock issued a free pass to Ryan Pond. Matt Payne then lined a base hit into center, bringing Cartwright around from second, and Marcus Jones pounded an RBI double in right-center. The Pack later plated a third run on a Jeremy Synan groundout to second.
State added a run to its lead in the bottom of the third on a Russell Wilson fielder’s choice to second with the bases loaded.
The Demon Deacons threatened in the top of the fifth, putting runners on second and third with one down. It didn’t much matter however, as Shunick struck out Evan Ocheltree and Austin Jones to keep WFU scoreless.
Wake Forest had another chance in the top of the sixth with a runner on third, but Shunick induced an inning-ending groundout from Mike Murray.
A Cartwright sac-fly to deep center netted the Pack another run in the bottom of the sixth. Chris Schaeffer nearly took Bullock’s head off with a bullet back up the middle, and Tommy Foschi followed with a bunt single in front of the plate. Both runners advanced to second and third when a Bullock throw to first sailed high, and Cartwright then pushed Schaeffer across the dish during the next at-bat.
State put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh on a pair of two-out hits courtesy of Pat Ferguson and Pond.
Jones etched Wake Forest’s first tally of the evening with a solo shot to left in the top of the eighth.
Things got a little uncomfortable in the top of the ninth when Andrew Taylor issued a bases loaded walk, forcing head coach Elliott Avent to put Kyle Rutter on the mound. Rutter immediately caught Brooks on strikes, ending the evening and earning his first save on the year.
The two teams will meet for game two tomorrow, Saturday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to check GoPack.com throughout the day for updates due to the dicey weather forecast projected for the evening. Live stats will be available online, while WKNC-FM will provide radio coverage.