Three weeks ago, it looked as if State’s baseball season was falling apart. In a near must win scenario, State swept then top-25 ranked UNC, before shutting out UNCG, 3-0.
This week brought more mixed outcomes.
Wolfpack with Awards
The OUTSTANDING effort from the starting pitchers, and just about everybody in the line-up, didn’t go unnoticed.
For his complete game, one-hit shutout, Chris Villaman was named ACC Pitcher of the Week. The feat of a one-hit shutout, is State’s first in nearly 25 years.
Austin Murr also put himself into the spotlight, receiving College Baseball National Player of the Week honors. Over his last 6 games, Murr has 3 dingers, 8 RBIs, while batting .407.
Back to Losing
We all know that the main reason for State’s struggles this year, has been from the unsteady (putting it kindly) pitching out of the bullpen. During the four-game winning streak, State starting pitchers had two complete games and a third if you consider that Willadsen finished two innings before going another 7 to start game three versus UNC.
State started the Game 1 against Clemson, jumping out to a 6-2 lead. Even with a tough fifth, starting pitcher Reid Johnston stayed in for 114 pitches. In Game 2, Highfill went for 110, the exact same for Willadsen in Game 3.
It has become abundantly clear, Avent is going to keep his starter in until at least 100 pitches to eat up innings. The bullpen is purely a worst case scenario, which doesn’t bode well for State to have any postseason success.
State went 1-2 against Clemson and now faces a meeting with App State before a full three-game series versus fellow bottom-feeder BC.