Shunick Fans 11, Paces No. 22 Baseball To 5-1 Win Over BC
RALEIGH, N.C. Clayton Shunick has been NC State’s best pitcher all season, and he pitched like it Friday night against Boston College. In the first game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series, Shunick struck out 11 batters, recorded eight outs in a row by strikeout, and retired 22 of the last 25 men he faced as NC State defeated the Eagles 5-1.
The win, NC State’s 14th in its last 18 games, lifted the Wolfpack to 28-13 overall and 13-8 in the ACC and in second place in the Atlantic Division. Boston College lost for the eighth time in its last 10 games and dropped to 20-22 overall and 5-17 in the conference.
Shunick actually faced seven batters before recording his first strikeout of the game, punching out Sam Shaughnessy on four pitches to end the second inning. Holding a 1-0 lead after Pat Ferguson belted his eighth homer in the bottom of the first, Shunick gave up a run on two hits in the second inning. Garret Smith rolled a single through the left side of the infield to score Erik Campbell, who led off the inning with a double, tying the game at 1-1.
That was it for the BC offense. Shunick wound up working eight innings and allowed just two more hits, a two-out double n the fifth by Shaughnessy and a leadoff two-bagger by Campbell in the seventh. Shunick retired the side in the third and fourth innings, then went on a strikeout binge beginning in the sixth, fanning all three BC batters in the inning, recording all three outs in the seventh on strikes, then fanning the first two hitters in the eighth.
Shunick (5-4) wound up working eight innings and allowed just one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out 11. Shunick improved his ERA to 2.27, and now has struck out 71 and walked just 15 in 63 1/3 innings.
Boston College starter Dan Houston (2-3) worked seven strong innings, but stumbled in the third, thanks in part to some shaky outfield defense. Drew Martin flied out and Dallas Poulk grounded out to start the inning, and Ferguson hit a liner directly at Shaughnessy in left field. Shaughnessy initially froze, then came in several steps before realizing the ball was over his head. The ball one-hopped the wall for a double, and Matt Payne followed with a single to left to drive in Ferguson with the go-ahead run. Jeremy Synan hit the next pitch out of the park for a two-run homer and a 4-1 lead.
Nick Stanley’s RBI single in the sixth rounded out the scoring.
NC State and Boston College will play the second game of this weekend’s three-game series on Saturday. Game time is 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and on the internet at gopack.com through the Pack Pass package.
The final game will be played on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game originally was scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start, but has been moved up a half-hour to accommodate Boston College’s travel plans.