May 12, 2011
Game Notes (PDF)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Looking for wins to enhance its chances for an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament, NC State takes on sixth-ranked Florida State in a key three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Game times are 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and will be available on-line with videostreaming 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.
NC State enters play this weekend on an extended streak of good play, having won 18 of 29 since a 10-10 start, and 10 of its last 15. The Wolfpack is 28-21 overall, 11-13 in the ACC.
The Seminoles come into the series ranked as high as sixth in the national polls and with an overall record of 37-12. FSU sits atop the Atlantic Division standings with a 16-8 league record. The Seminoles have won four of their last five games, and 13 of their last 15. A recent nine-game winning steak was their longest of the season.
NC State vs. Florida State
Florida State holds a 52-24 lead in the series with NC State. The series dates back to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 1968, the year the Wolfpack went to the College World Series. Since Florida State joined the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 1992 season, the Wolfpack is 19-49 vs. the Seminoles, including a 16-39 mark in the regular season. The Seminoles have won eight of the last nine meetings between the two.
Since Elliott Avent became NC State's head coach for the 1997 season, the Wolfpack is 14-35 vs. Florida State. Avent's teams are 6-12 vs. the Seminoles are Doak Field at Dail Park, 5-14 at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, 2-1 at Grainger Stadium in Kinston, N.C., and 1-8 in the ACC Tournament.
Florida State took two of three regular-season games from NC State at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee a year ago, then defeated the Wolfpack in the championship game of the ACC Tournament.
NC State won the opener in Tallahassee 5-2 behind the combined six-hit pitching of Jake Buchanan and Grant Sasser, and two-run homers from Andrew Ciencin and Harold Riggins.
Cory Mazzoni allowed just one hit through four innings of the middle game of the series and led 3-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, but FSU rallied for five in the seventh and eighth and won 7-5.
In the rain-shortened finale, the Wolfpack scored seven in the top of the first and led 8-0 going to the bottom of the second, but the Noles scored eight in the second and three in the third and won 12-9. Ciencin's fourth grand-slam homer of the year highlighted the Wolfpack's big first inning in the finale.
In the conference championship game, NC State led 3-2 going to the bottom of the seventh, but Florida State scored two in the seventh and four more in the eighth to win 8-3. Ciencin hit his third homer of the season against FSU in the second inning of the championship game.
The Starting Rotation
NC State will send senior righthander Rob Chamra (7-1, 4.03) to the mound to start the series opener on Friday. Florida State will counter with junior lefthander Sean Gilmartin (8-1, 1.36). Junior righthander Cory Mazzoni (3-6, 4.10) will start the middle game of the series on Saturday. The Seminoles will start junior righthander Hunter Scantling (3-0, 2.22). Sunday's starter for the Wolfpack is still to be announced. Florida State will send senior righthander Mike McGee (2-2, 3.86) to the mound for the finale.
Chamra, from Cranford, N.J., will be making his 14th appearance and seventh start. He has pitched 51 1/3 innings and allowed 25 runs, 23 earned, on 50 hits. He has struck out 35 and walked 20.
• Chamra is 4-1 with a 3.24 ERA in his six starts. In his last start, May 6 vs. East Tennessee State, Chamra worked 5 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on nine hits.
• On April 30 vs. Maryland, he allowed three runs on six hits in eight innings.
• In consecutive starts, both wins, vs. No. 5 North Carolina and No. 1 Virginia, Chamra allowed no earned runs on eight hits in 12 1/3 innings.
• In his last four starts, he is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA, and has allowed 23 hits in 25 2/3 innings.
• Chamra is 4-0 with a 3.90 ERA in seven appearances vs. ACC opponents, including four starts.
Belying his won-lost record, Mazzoni, from Evans City, Pa., has been outstanding this season, often dominant. From March 4 vs. Penn State through March 25 vs. Clemson, Mazzoni had a 1.27 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings over four starts. He has pitched into the seventh inning in nine of 12 appearances, and allowed more than four runs just twice.
• In his last start, May 7 vs. East Tennessee State, Mazzoni allowed two runs on five hits in 8 2/3 innings, striking out nine and walking one while taking a tough-luck 2-0 defeat.
• Mazzoni struck out 10 or more in consecutive games against Clemson, Wake Forest and Miami, and has fanned 10 or more five times, striking out 97 in 85 2/3 innings for the season.
• Mazzoni ranks third in the ACC in K's heading into play this weekend, and second in K's in conference games with 66.
• Mazzoni is the only NC State pitcher since at least 1978 to strike out 10 or more batters in three consecutive appearances.
• Mazzoni had his best outing of the season March 25 vs. Clemson, tossing a complete-game four-hit shutout, retiring 16 batters in a row at one point and 20 of 21.
• Mazzoni fanned a career-high 13 in seven innings March 4 vs. Penn State.
• Mazzoni's ERA in the second inning this season is 11.25; minus the second inning, his ERA is 2.93.
Record Vs. Ranked Teams
NC State is 7-7 vs. ranked opponents so far in 2011, and has won six of its last nine games vs. ranked teams, winning one of three at No. 1 Virginia on April 23-24, sweeping fifth-ranked North Carolina the weekend of April 15-17, and taking two of three from Clemson the weekend of March 25-27.
The Defense Never Rests
NC State has played sound defense from the get-go this season with a team fielding percentage of .974 entering play this weekend vs. Florida State. Looking just at the infield positions of catcher, first base, second base, third base and shortstop, NC State is fielding .978.
The Wolfpack's three catchers -- Pratt Maynard, Chris Schaeffer and Danny Canela -- are fielding .993. The other infield positions are fielding .972, including a .970 mark from the second basemen and .974 from the shortstops.
The Wolfpack committed just four errors over an 11-game stretch from March 12 at Duke through March 26 vs. Clemson, and fielded .990 during those 11 games (292 putouts, 116 assists).
The Pack has committed just 11 errors in its last 15 games, fielding .980.
Following last weekend's series vs. East Tennessee State, attendance for 2011 stands at 38,052 through 30 dates, an average of 1268 per game. At the current pace, with four home games remaining, NC State will draw 43,124 fans for the year, which would rank second in stadium history.
At the current pace, with four games remaining, NC State will draw 43,124 fans for the year, which would rank second in stadium history. The stadium record is 48,263 set in 2008.
The current per-game average of 1268 would rank third in Doak Field history, behind 1995 (1308) and 2008 (1304).
Who's Hot For The Wolfpack
NC State has won 10 of its last 15 games and 18 of 29 since a 10-10 start. Despite being the victims of a pair of pitching gems last weekend against East Tennessee State, several Wolfpack hitters have swung the bats very well of late.
• Harold Riggins is hitting .433 (13-for-30) in his last eight games, and .389 (21-for-54) with three doubles, a home run, 11 runs scored and seven RBIs in his last 15 games.
• John Gianis is batting .354 (17-for-48) with five doubles, a home run, 11 runs scored and six RBIs in his last 13 games.
• Matt Bergquist is hitting .378 (17-for-45) with two doubles, two home runs, nine runs scored and 14 RBIs in his last 11 games.
• Danny Canela is hitting .350 (7-for-20) with a home run and six RBIs in his last five games.
• Pratt Maynard is batting .345 (10-for-29) with four doubles, a home run and six RBIs in his last seven games.
Maynard Matches Career High With Four Hits Wednesday At Campbell
Pratt Maynard tied his career high with four hits in a game May 11 at Campbell, bashing out three singles and a home run as the Wolfpack defeated the Camels 10-2. It was Maynard's second four-hit game of the season and the third of his career. Maynard also had four hits in a game this year on April 9 at Miami. Maynard's first four-hit game was the third game of his college career, Feb. 22, 2009, vs. Santa Clara.
The team high among current Wolfpack players for hits in a game is five, done twice a year ago by Andrew Ciencin: Feb. 23 vs. Campbell and March 4 vs. Xavier.
A 15-Game Surge
Anyone who has followed NC State this season knows that the Wolfpack has played better as the season has gone on, and the numbers bear that out. After a 10-10 start, the Pack is 18-11, including a 10-5 mark in the last 15 games.
Dating back to April 15 vs. North Carolina and including three games against the then-No. 5 Tar Heels and three games vs. No. 1 Virginia, the Pack has looked like its old self at the plate.
NC State is hitting .301 and averaging 6.9 runs the last 15 games. The team's on-base percentage the last 15 games is .375 and the team slugging percentage is .450. While the team has not hit home runs at its normal pace in 2011, it has hit doubles and triples, and has 36 doubles and five triples the last 15 games.
Included in those 15 games are two games vs. East Tennessee State on May 6-7 when the Wolfpack was shut down to the tune of one run on six hits in 18 innings. Minus those two games, the numbers look even better.
The Wolfpack is hitting .327 with a .401 on-base percentage and a .493 slugging percentage with those two games taken out of the sample. The Pack is scoring 7.9 runs per game in those 13 games, with 35 doubles and 11 home runs.
Following this weekend's series vs. the Seminoles, NC State will play its final home game of the year Tuesday at 6 p.m. vs. William & Mary, then fly to Boston College for the final ACC series of the season on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Game times at BC are 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and 12 noon on Saturday.
As always, please visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.