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Johnston’s Shutout Leads to ACC Pitcher of the Week Honors

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – After throwing his first career complete game shutout in Saturday’s 3-0win against Virginia, top-ranked NC State baseball’s Reid Johnston has been named the ACC Pitcher of the Week, the conference announced on Monday.

“Reid was the story of the game,” head coach Elliott Avent said following Saturday’s win. “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.”

Johnston was phenomenal on the mound against the Cavaliers, as he accomplished something he had never done – throwing a complete game shutout. The sophomore pounded the strike zone early and often, as he matched his career high with seven strikeouts and only walked one batter. The one batter he walked was the lone three-ball count he had on the night and it was in the first inning, as Johnston fired 72 strikes on 104 pitches.

It was also the longest outing of his career, surpassing his previous career long of 6.2 innings pitched in a win at Duke last season. He struck out the side in the top of the first and that provided him all the momentum he needed to accomplish the first shutout for a Wolfpack pitcher since June 1, 2013, when Carlos Ródon shut out William & Mary in the NCAA Regional.

“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.”

Additionally, it was just the second shutout of the season by an ACC pitcher and just one of five complete games by a pitcher from the conference. He surrendered just six hits, and all were singles. Johnson retired the side in order four times and struck out the side once. 

His strong outing helped improve his earned run average (ERA) from 2.93 to 2.21, which ranks among the top 10 in the ACC, and he’s a perfect 4-0 on the year.

Johnston earns the first pitcher of the week honor of his young career and the second of the season for a Wolfpack pitcher, as Jason Parker earned the award on March 18.

NC State returns to action Tuesday eveningagainst the South Carolina Gamecocks. The matchup will be played at BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte, home of the Charlotte Knights. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.

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NC State Baseball

1st Baseman Garrett Pennington Has Broken Into NC State’s Record Books

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Last night, Senior 1st Baseman Garrett Pennington hit 3 Doubles, giving him 23 Doubles on the season, which ranks 8th in NC State history for Doubles in a single season.

1. 31 – Brian Ward, 1998
2. 27 – Matt Postell, 1999
3. 26 – Brian Wright, 2002
4. 25 – Chris Diaz, 2012
4. 25 – Scott Snead, 1991
6. 24 – David Hicks, 2002
6. 24 – Tim Tracey, 1994
8. 24 – Garrett Pennington, 2024
8. 23 – Dallas Poulk, 2010
8. 23 – Jake Weber 1997
8. 23 – Paul Borawski 1991

The Wolfpack hit it big in the Transfer Portal this past offseason, with two of them breaking NC State records. Pennington broke into the Top-10 in Doubles, and Senior 3rd Baseman Alec Makarewicz broke into the Top-10 in Home Runs.

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NC State Baseball

NC State Crushes Virginia Tech 19-9 in Their Opening Game of 2024 ACC Tournament

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#3 seed NC State’s bats were simmering in their opening game of the 2024 ACC Tournament, defeating #10 seed Virginia Tech 19-9, with the game ending at the end of the 8th inning due to a mercy rule. The 19 runs are the most runs scored this season by the Pack, and the most in school history in the ACC Tournament.

Freshman Ryan Marohn, the Pack’s regular midweek starter, got the nod, and he was excellent, giving up 1 earned run in 4 innings pitched, striking out 4. With Marohn pitching in the first game, NC State will be able to roll out their starting 3 all the way to the Championship game if need be. Also, Jaxon Lucas, P.J. Labriola and Hollis Fanning came out of the bullpen, preserving the arms of the Wolfpack’s primary relief arms.

NC State recorded 20 hits in the contest, and also walked 9 times. Senior 3rd Team All-ACC 1st Baseman Garrett Pennington and Senior 2nd Team All-ACC 3rd Baseman Alec Makerwicz both finished with 4 hits in the contest. Pennington was 4 for 5 with 4 Runs and 2 RBI’s, with an absurd 3 Doubles. A-Mak was 4 for 4 with 4 Runs and 4 RBI’s, as well as a Double and 2 Walks.

Junior Shortstop Brandon Butterworth and Sophomore Center Fielder Eli Serrano III both had 3 hits in the contest. Butterworth was 3 for 5, with 2 Runs and 2 RBI’s, hitting a Home Run in the Top of the 8th. Serrano III was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI’s and 4 Runs, hitting a Home Run as well.

Freshman Alex Sosa led the squad with 5 RBI’s, going 2 for 4, with a Home Run, 2 Walks and 2 Runs.

Junior 1st Team All-ACC Catcher Jacob Cozart was 2 for 5 with 2 RBI’s, 1 Run and 1 Walk.

NC State will play #6 seed Duke tomorrow night at 7pm on ACC Network. Technically, the Wolfpack could have lost this evening, and still advanced to the semifinals. After the Blue Devils defeated the Hokies 11-8 in their first game last night, all the Wolfpack need to do to advance to the semifinals is defeat Duke tomorrow night.

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NC State Baseball

NC State Picks Up the Most Votes in D1Baseball’s Staff Poll to Win the 2024 ACC Tournament

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D1Baseball’s staff each individually picked which team they thought would win each College Baseball Conference Tournament this week. Of the 11 staff polled, 4 picked NC State to win the ACC Championship this upcoming Sunday, which was the most votes any team in the ACC received. UNC and UVA each picked up two votes. Wake Forest, Duke and Clemson each received a vote as well.

NC State is the #3 seed in the ACC Tournament, and they will play their first game tonight in pool play against #10 seed Virginia Tech at 7pm on ACC Network., who lost 8-11 to #6 seed Duke last night. The Wolfpack will then play the Blue Devils tomorrow night at 7pm on ACC Network. The team with the best record coming out of pool of three teams will advance to the semi finals on Saturday.

 

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The Wolfpack are looking to win their first ACC Championship since 1992, and their 5th overall.

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Baseball America Projects NC State to be a Regional Host in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, & a Top-10 Seed

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Yesterday D1Baseball released their 2024 NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections, and they projected NC State to be a Regional Host, as the #11 overall seed.

Baseball America released their projections today, and they also picked the Wolfpack to be a Regional Host, and the #9 overall seed.

They project the Wolfpack to be joined by San Diego, South Carolina and Fairfield.

Projected Regional Hosts

  1. Tennessee
  2. UNC
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Kentucky
  5. Arkansas
  6. Clemson
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Georgia
  9. NC State
  10. UVA
  11. FSU
  12. Oregon St.
  13. Indiana St.
  14. ECU
  15. Oklahoma St.
  16. UC Santa Barbara

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