RALEIGH, N.C. – Sophomore Reid Johnston struck out the side in the top of the first and that provided him all the momentum he needed to accomplish something that he had never done, throwing a complete game shutout to lift No. 1 NC State to a 3-0 win against Virginia Friday night at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Johnston’s shutout is just the second of the season by an ACC pitcher and is the first for the Wolfpack since Carlos Rodón accomplished the feat against William & Mary on June 1, 2013.
“I thought it was a great college baseball game with two great pitchers going at it,” said head coach Elliott Avent. “Their guy was very, very good and it’s been a series of pitching so far. Two good teams and both playing good defense.
“Reid [Johnston] was the story of the game. He threw just over 100 pitches, only walked one and just threw strikes. He commanded the strike zone and used his changeup very effectively. He was very, very good.”
NC State (26-2, 9-2 ACC) evens the series with Virginia (16-11, 6-5 ACC), as the teams will square off in the rubber game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
In a well-pitched game from both teams that featured only three combined walks, it was Johnston that stole the show with the longest outing of his career, surpassing his previous high of 6.2 innings. He also matched his career-best in strikeouts with seven.
“I had so much adrenaline in the ninth inning that I could hardly control myself,” said Johnston. “I was trying to take it pitch-by-pitch and not get too hyped up. I try to lock in and visualize what I need to do and that helped.
“I always try to pound the strike zone and if they hit it, they hit it.”
The Wolfpack grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second after an RBI double to right center off the bat of David Vazquez, which allowed freshman Tyler McDonough to score from first.
NC State added to its advantage in the fifth when sophomore Jonny Butler launched the first home run of his Wolfpack career, a two-run blast over the right field wall. Vazquez walked prior to his at-bat and scored to make it a 3-0 lead.
With the way Johnston pitched, three runs were more than enough for the Pack to secure the win. Patrick Bailey doubled in the game and Evan Edwards singled, as both extended their reached base safely streaks to 28 games – having reached in every game this season.
NC State Baseball Rankings Update After Another Undefeated Week
The NC State Baseball team is now 7-0 through two weeks of play, going 4-0 last week, defeating Coastal Carolina 16-4 on the road in a midweek game, and sweeping Belmont at home this past weekend (11-4, 7-0, 7-1).
The Wolfpack remain ranked 21st in the D1Baseball Top-25.
The Wolfpack moved up 11 spots to #19 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll, up 2 spots to #20 in the Coaches Poll, and up 1 spot to #24 in the Baseball America poll.
NC State will host Longwood today at 3pm in their next matchup.
NC State Sticks at #21 After Opening Weekend Sweep
NC State’s Men’s Baseball team stayed put at #21 in the D1Baseball Top-25 after an opening weekend sweep of Wagner.
NC State also stayed put at #25 in the Baseball America’s new poll, and stayed put at #30 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll.
The Wolfpack will play Coastal Carolina on the road this Wednesday at
NC State Picked 3rd in the Atlantic in the 2023 ACC Baseball Preseason Poll
The 2023 ACC Preseason Poll was released yesterday, and NC State is projected to finish 3rd in the Atlantic.
NC State finished 5th in the Atlantic Division in 2022, with a 14-15 record in Conference play.
The Doak is getting its renovation…and NC State fans aren’t exactly loving it
I was just about to write a piece about the Doak renovation going down.
— NC State Athletics (@PackAthletics) January 25, 2023
But while I was over on Twitter, I saw a ton of comments on it, all of them NC State fans, and almost all of them critical of the new look.
Look, I don’t know what’s going on here. Maybe it’ll look a lot better once it’s done, or maybe the grass will match up a lot better when it greens up. But right now, it’s a little jarring. Here is how it used to look…
And here is how it’s looking right now…
— Allen (@BigalnRaleigh) January 19, 2023
Again, I’m going to wait until it’s really done before I cast judgement, but I think the official tweet from the school marketing it and drawing attention to it, has people thinking it’s in it’s final form. And maybe it is. But I hope it’s not.
I remember this being shared a while back…
This shows grass in foul territory and dirt in the 1st/3rd baselines. So I’m not sure when this turf thing came along. And while we’re on the subject, aren’t we a turf management school? Shouldn’t we be turning up our noses at artificial turf?
Apparently, this is a thing now, where foul territories are artificial turf and fair territory is grass. Here is Mississippi State’s baseball field doing the same thing.
— Mississippi State Baseball (@HailStateBB) February 15, 2019
Can’t say I like it there either, honestly. It just seems like one of those fads. Remember when everyone was going crazy with field/court colors?
School with a grey field and school with a glow in the dark basketball court meet on blue turf. Winning coach gets dumped with French fries. College athletics at its absolute best. https://t.co/crEKoeLKbX pic.twitter.com/Bpeod50Sy4
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 4, 2022
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) November 10, 2021
The worst basketball court in the history of the sport. Thanks a lot, Oregon. pic.twitter.com/842T5CYmIc
— Craig Miller (@junior_miller) January 30, 2022
Did anyone ever really like those? Do people like them now? Have they ever gotten a recruit to come to the school? Have they ever scared a recruit away?
I don’t know. You tell me. I’ll hold final judgment, but things NC State fans don’t seem like they’re going to follow along.