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Second-Ranked Wolfpack Welcomes Notre Dame for Weekend Series

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NOTRE DAME – NC STATE
Dates: Friday – Sunday, April 13-15
Location: Doak Field at Dail Park
Times: 6:30 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.) | 12 p.m. (Sun.)
Radio: WKNC 88.1 FM
Live Video: ACC Network Extra
Live Stats: SideArm Live Stats

STARTING PITCHERS
Friday – LHP Scott Tully (ND) vs. RHP Johnny Piedmonte (NCSU)
Saturday – LHP Tommy Sheehan (ND) vs. LHP Brian Brown (NCSU)
Sunday – RHP Cameron Junker (ND) vs. RHP Michael Bienlien (NCSU)

RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 2 NC State baseball will return home to Doak Field at Dail Park this weekend to host Notre Dame for a three-game series following a seven-game road stretch.

Friday and Saturday’s games are slated for 6:30 p.m., while Sunday’s series finale will begin at noon.

All three games will be broadcast live on the ACC Network Extra, accessible through Watch ESPN and the Watch ESPN App. Radio coverage will also be available on WKNC 88.1 FM and on GoPack.com for premium subscribers.

NC State enters the weekend with a 26-6 overall record, including an 11-4 mark in ACC play while Notre Dame heads to Raleigh with a 14-19 mark and a 5-7 ledger in conference action.

Last Time Out
In its last outing, NC State used a big fourth inning to earn an 8-3 victory at UNCW. The Wolfpack scored six runs in the fourth inning and didn’t look back en route to the win.

Freshman Reid Johnston earned the win on the mound with 2.1 innings of relief, while Will Wilson led the Pack at the plate with a pair of hits including a three-run homer.

The Series
NC State leads the all-time series against Notre Dame, 9-5, with 13 of the 14 meetings as ACC opponents. The Wolfpack and Fighting Irish have alternated series wins since the first matchup between the programs in 2014 with each team winning its series at home.

NC State won the first series in Raleigh before Notre Dame took the 2015 series on its home field. In 2016, the Pack recorded the series win and the Irish countered with a series win last season in South Bend.

Last Time Versus Notre Dame
The Wolfpack won the most recent meeting between the teams, as NC State closed out last year’s series with a 9-2 win. Michael Bienlien turned in a stellar performance on the mound with seven strong innings to earn his first career victory.

NC State led 2-1 through the first seven innings, but broke the game open with six runs in the ninth inning to run away with the victory. Notre Dame won the series with wins in game one and two.

Last Time Versus Notre Dame in Raleigh
NC State and Notre Dame split the first two games of the last series held at Doak Field before the Wolfpack clinched the series with a 16-6 win in the rubber game. The Irish jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the contest, but the Pack responded with six unanswered runs to grab a 6-5 advantage.

After ND knotted the score at six, NCSU plated a pair of runs in the fifth and six innings prior to a six-run outburst in the eighth inning. That game was shortened by an inning due to a travel curfew.

Joe O’Donnell threw a complete game in the first contest of the series and nearly has a shutout, but Notre Dame scored a run in the ninth on a solo homer. O’Donnell was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week following his standout performance.

Scouting Notre Dame
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish make the trip to Raleigh after splitting a pair of midweek games, earning an 8-7 with Michigan State on Tuesday before dropping a 2-0 decision at home against Northwestern on Wednesday.

Notre Dame opened the season with a big weekend in Baton Rouge, as the squad won the series at No. 9 LSU. The Irish took two of three games against Wake Forest at home to take that series as well.

Junior Nick Podkul leads the team at the plate with a .333 batting average and a team-high 40 hits. Cole Daily is second on the Irish with 48 hits complemented by a .281 clip at the dish. As a team, Notre Dame owns a .267 batting average and is scoring 5.39 runs per game.

Fighting Irish pitchers have struggled on the mound, as the staff has compiled a 5.16 earned run average (ERA). Friday starter Scott Tully is 4-1 on the year with a 3.02 ERA, Saturday’s starter Tommy Sheehan owns a 5.97 ERA with a 1-3 record, while Sunday’s starter Cameron Junker is 0-3 with a 6.44 slash.

Big Innings
NC State has scored four of more runs in an inning 17 times this season with the most recent occurrence at UNCW on Wednesday. The Wolfpack scored six runs in the fourth inning en route to the victory.

The Pack’s season high for runs in an inning is eight, accomplished in the fourth inning of the Campbell game on March 3 and the seventh inning of the Air Force game on Feb. 26.

Eight in a Row
The Wolfpack owns the ACC’s longest active series-win streak, as NC State has won eighth consecutive conference series. NC State has each of its weekend matchups dating back to the Virginia Tech series from last season.

A League of its Own
NC State is the only team in the ACC that has not lost a conference series this season. The Wolfpack is also the only program that has swept a road series when NCSU accomplished the feat at No. 2 Clemson.

Matching the Highest-Ever Ranking
On Monday, NC State leaped to No. 2 in the national rankings, which matches the highest-ever listing for the program. The Wolfpack was also ranked No. 2 during the 2003 and 1993 seasons.

Two Golden Spikes Midseason Honorees
After helping lead the second-ranked NC State baseball team to its highest-ever ranking, NC State baseball’s Brian Brown and Brett Kinneman have been named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, announced on Tuesday by the organization.

The Wolfpack is one of just six teams in the nation to have more than one player earn a spot on the list and the only program from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Brown and Kinneman are the fourth and fifth players in program history to be named to the distinguished list, joining Carlos Rodon, Trea Turner and Brett Austin.

NC State Baseball

NC STATE BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVES NEW CONTRACTS FOR AVENT AND SANTORO

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RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State Board of Trustees approved Friday new contracts for head baseball coach Elliott Avent and head women’s soccer coach Tim Santoro.

Avent’s contract, which was set to expire in June of 2019, has been extended through 2021 with the potential for additional years based on achievement.

“Coach Avent has led NC State baseball for over two decades, and we’re glad he will continue as our leader for years to come,” said Director of Athletics, Debbie Yow.  “He works tirelessly, recruits at a high level, and we look forward to his continued leadership.”

Santoro agreed to a two-year extension to his current agreement, which puts him under contract for five years through 2022.

“Coach Santoro continues to do an exceptional job building our women’s soccer program. He recruits at a high level, has elevated NC State, and this contract reflects our commitment.”
Last season, Avent guided the Wolfpack to a 40-win season, highlighted by hosting an NCAA Regional in Raleigh for the sixth time in program history, all of which have come under his direction. The Wolfpack won its first seven ACC series and tied the program record with 19 conference wins.

NC State finished the year ranked No. 22 in the D1 Baseball Poll, which marks the 16th consecutive season that the Wolfpack has either started or finished the year ranked among the top 25 of a major poll. The Pack also made history with four players selected in the top-10 rounds of the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft.

In 2013, he led the Wolfpack to the College World Series (CWS) and has taken NC State to the NCAA Tournament in 17 of his 22 seasons at the helm, including 14 of the last 16 seasons.

Avent is the winningest head coach in program history and is just one of 17 active NCAA Division I baseball head coaches with 1,000 or more career wins. The 2019 season will be his 23rd leading the Wolfpack.

“NC State has always been where my heart is, and I’ve spent the better part of my professional life striving to build a program our campus, alumni, and community can share a sense of pride in,” said Avent. “There is a tremendous amount of pride that connects our players and staff, both past and present. Together we have amassed years of sustained success that has created such a passionate and loyal fan base.

“I look forward to leading the Wolfpack for years to come maintaining the consistency that has become a hallmark of NC State baseball.”

Last season, Santoro led NC State to the NCAA Second Round with a 15-5-2 record, marking the most wins for the program since 1995. The campaign was highlighted by a third-place finish in the ACC regular season standings and the program’s first ACC Championship semifinal appearance since 1995.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at NC State and in Raleigh and am so thankful to Debbie and the administration for having faith in me to continue building on what started a few years back,” said Santoro. “While we’ve made some great strides, there’s still so much more to accomplish and I’m just excited for the opportunity to keep leading a top ACC program that’s part of a great institution, in a great city and surrounded by great people.”

The women’s soccer team finished with a final RPI of 23, setting its best mark in program history since the NCAA began archiving the stat in 2000. The Wolfpack improved 11 spots from 2016 when the team earned a then program-best RPI of 34, and has made a 197-spot improvement from 220th in 2015.

NC State also clinched back-to-back ACC Championship berths for the first time since 2003-04 and earned consecutive NCAA Championship appearances for the first time since 1995-96.

The Pack additionally finished 21st in the final United Soccer Coaches poll, 23rd in Soccer America’s and 16th in Top Drawer Soccer’s, marking the first back-to-back top 25 finishes for the program since 1991-92.

Santoro is in his sixth season leading the women’s soccer program and was the NSCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year and a finalist for National Coach of the Year in 2016.

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NC State Baseball

NC State basketball completed their NBA Combine-like testing this week

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If you’ve followed our site through the years, then you know that NC State does an annual NBA-Combine like testing called ‘BAM.’ This is where they test speed, strength, and agility and get back precise data, which shows their offseason improvements.

They did this under Gottfried as well, but something tells me that the data that is returned is going to be utilized a bit better under Keatts. Here is a full explanation of what they went through…

And here is a little video (and some pictures) of the process…

We’re working on getting some numbers back, but as of right now it seems as if Keatts is keeping this data close to the vest. We’ll update you when we know more…

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NC State Baseball

Trea Turner’s power / speed combo puts him in MLB history books

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Former NC State (and current Washington Nationals) SS, Trea Turner, is having what has become a historic season.

So why hasn’t there been more hype around the 25-year-old?

Well, last year in an injury-shortened season (412 ABs), Turner was on an even torrid pace. He batted .284, hit 11 HRs and stole 46 bases. That was coming off a 2016 season where, in just 324 ABs he hit an insane .342 with 33 HRs and 33 steals.

Those type of numbers have made some see his 2018 numbers as a sort of letdown.

After last night’s big game (2-5, HR, 3 RBIs) Turner is hitting .268 with 15 HRs in 504 ABs. He’s also stolen 32 bases. While he’s shown a better pace in the past, the current pace is actually good enough to land him in the MLB record books.

Trea Turner is already showing historic power/speed combo numbers, but his past numbers show, this might just be the beginning of what is possible for the young SS.

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NC State Baseball

Detroit Tigers promote Brock Deatherage to A-Advanced & he keeps raking

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We told you just a few days ago that former NC State OF Brock Deatherage was lighting up the minor leagues.

Well, we weren’t the only ones who thought so.

Yesterday, Deatherage was promoted by the Detroit Tigers from Class A to Class A-Advanced.

 

It seems as if the Tigers are fast-tracking Brock at this point. If he hits well for Lakeland, he could start next season in AA, and if that happens, he could see the majors by the end of next season. But again, it all comes down to him continuing to hit like this.

The good news is, in his first at-bat with the new club, Deatherage hit a laser-beam of a triple into the right-center gap.

We’ll keep you updated on how he fares in the coming weeks.

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