With the tying run on second in the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Will Wilson stepped to the plate and belted a two-run homer to give NC State a 2-1 lead and it proved to be the difference, as the Wolfpack opened ACC play with a victory against Boston College Friday afternoon at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Freshman Reid Johnston earned his first collegiate victory with two-thirds of an inning in relief of starter Brian Brown. Sophomore Kent Klyman pitched a perfect ninth to record his first career save. Jacob Stevens was charged with the loss for Boston College.
NC State moves to 12-2 on the year and 1-0 in ACC play, while the Eagles fall to 5-7 and 0-1 in conference action.
– Boston College pushed across the first run of the contest in the fifth, after a fielding error by the Wolfpack extended the inning.
– Brian Dempsey delivered the big hit in the inning with an RBI double down the left field line to give the Eagles a 1-0 advantage.
– BC threatened in the top of the eighth, putting runners on second and third with one out but Johnston relieved Brown and induced a flyout to center field and a groundout to escape the jam.
– In the bottom half, senior Josh McLain sparked the NC State rally, as he ripped the first pitch from Stevens off the wall in left field for a one-out double, narrowly missing his second home run of the year.
– Two batters later, Wilson clubbed his fourth homer of the season over the wall in left center on the first pitch of his at-bat, giving the Wolfpack a 2-1 lead.
– Klyman entered the game to pitch the ninth and worked a perfect inning, getting a groundout to Dillon Cooper at third base, swinging strikeout and a groundout to Shane Shepard at first base to seal the win for the Pack.
“I felt pretty good and I had some good at-bats up to that point in the game. Their pitcher has been in the ACC for a while now and he knows what he is doing. We saw him last year and we tried to make the adjustments.
“I was sitting on a slider and he hung one late in the game and I thought I put a very good swing on the ball.”
– NC State’s pitching staff has not allowed an earned run in its last 18 innings pitched.
– The Wolfpack only walked one batter in the contest, as NC State’s 37 walks on the year is the fewest in the ACC.
– NCSU’s pitchers held Boston College to just three hits and just one of those went for extra bases.
– The Pack collected five hits in the game and is undefeated on the year when recording more hits than its opponent at 12-0.
– Wilson extended his reached base safely streak to 29 games, dating back to last season.
Inside the Box Score
– McLain was the only player in the game with more than one hit, as he singled in the third and doubled in the eighth.
– Brad Debo, Evan Edwards and Wilson each contributed a hit for the Wolfpack.
– On the mound, Brown pitched seven innings, struck out six batters and only walked one.
– His counterpart was equally as good, as Stevens threw eight innings with eight strikeouts.
NC State and Boston College will return to the diamond for games two and three of the series on Saturday, as the squads will play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Doak Field.