The NC State baseball team completed a series sweep of the No. 16 Pittsburgh Panthers with a win on Sunday, May 16 at Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh. The Pack knocked five home runs over the fence in the 10-3 rout.
Similarly to the second game of the series, the runs came early and often. After a two-out rally by the Wolfpack (26-14, 17-13 ACC) opened the scoring in the top of the first, the Panthers (22-16, 16-14 ACC) pulled even in the bottom frame to make it 1-1. This deadlock was short-lived however, as State hit three dingers over the next two innings to give itself a 5-1 lead by the end of the third.
It was from the second inning onward that the impending rout became apparent, as many bats contributed to the Pack’s 10-run performance. Junior right fielder Devonte Brown (1-3, HR, RBI) and junior left fielder Jonny Butler (2-4, HR, 2 RBI) went yard in the second and third innings respectively, but it was freshman shortstop Jose Torres (3-5, HR, 4 RBI) that led the charge by driving in four runs.
Junior designated hitter Terrell Tatum (2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI) was another force at the plate, contributing NC State’s final two homers in seventh and ninth innings, bringing his total to nine on the season. This display of power capped off a great statistical series for Tatum, who went 6-for-11 with three home runs over the three games.
On the pitching side, freshman right-handed pitcher Matt Willadson (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 8 K) held his own after a rough first inning. Although Willadson only gave up a run on two hits in the opening frame, it certainly could have been more as the Panthers left the bases loaded. Willadson collected himself quickly, preventing the Panthers from stringing hits together for the next several innings while NC State built up its lead.
By the time the eighth inning rolled around, the Wolfpack sat comfortably on an 8-1 lead. Pitt attempted to put itself back in the game in the eighth though, putting up two more runs off Willadson, but head coach Elliott Avent brought freshman left-handed pitcher Chris Villaman (2.0, 0 ER, 6 K) in from the bullpen to shut down the Panthers in the final two innings, recording all six outs via strikeouts.
The Pack will finish its regular season with a home series against the No. 17 Florida State Seminoles. The series opener will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, and will be available for viewing on ACC Network Extra.