Wolfpack Baseball dropped game three against Virginia Tech on Sunday by a score of 6-4, but still managed to take the weekend series in Blacksburg.Â In an ugly game three (for Wolfpack fans, at least) State could muster only four base hits on the day, while Pack pitching found itself constantly trying to work out of repeated jams.
GoPack.com has the recap of game three: Pack Winning Streak Snapped at 12 Games
BLACKSBURG, VA. – No. 13 NC State roared back from a 3-0 deficit, but ended up having its 12-game winning streak snapped in a 6-4 loss at Virginia Tech Sunday.
The Wolfpack (36-13, 18-9 ACC) dug a 3-0 hole through three innings, but scored one in the fourth to trim the lead to 3-1. Tarran Senayâ€™s three-run homer put the Pack on top 4-3 in the top sixth, before the Hokies (33-18, 11-16 ACC) responded with three in the bottom half to secure the 6-4 victory.
Senayâ€™s fourth home run of the year represented his only hit in a 1-for-4, three RBI, one run performance. Ryan Mathews went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run to extend his hitting streak to 17 games with the Packâ€™s only multi-hit effort. Brett Austin had Stateâ€™s only other hit in a game that saw the Hokies outhit the Wolfpack 12-4. Trea Turnerâ€™s streak of scoring in 15-consecutive games came to a close with his 0-for-4 afternoon.
Here’s the slant on Sunday’s game from the VT perspective from hokiesports.com.
Despite Sunday’s loss, the Pack still took the VT series on the power of Ryan Mathew’s clutch weekend performance at the plate. Mathews was 4 for 15 on the weekend with 5 RBI, including knocking in the winning runs in both of the first two games on 2 run homers. He now has 10 HR on the season, a mark that ties him for 5th best in the conference, and his hitting streak stands at 17 games.
Trea Turner continued to confound opposing teams’ batteries, stealing five more bases on the weekend for a season total of 50. He is only the third ACC player to ever swipe 50 in a single season. Now tied for 2nd all time, he is 13 away from tying the record of 63 (Brian Roberts, UNC ’97).
State’s pitching managed to get enough done to get 2 wins, but the staff as a whole was far from sharp over the weekend.Â Carlos Rodon’s control problems (and the Pack’s quiet bats) prevented him from getting his 9th win of the season in game one, though he did work 7.1 innings giving up only 1 earned run and lowering his ERA to a team and conference best 1.41 (and the Pack got the win thanks to Mathews’ game winning 2 run HR).Â Control issues did not stop him from being overpowering at times, recording 11 more strikeouts for a season total of 108, good enough for 2nd in the conference
Anthony Tzamtzis started off strong in game two, but his control also took a powder and the wheels fell off for him after the 2nd inning. He left the game after only four innings with a possible blister on his throwing hand. Again, it was a Mathews 2 run shot that provided the winning runs.
Relievers DJ Thomas (game one win), Travis Orwig (game two win) and Chris Overman were bright spots for the Wolfpack’s pitching staff,
With the series win, the Wolfpack has now taken 5 consecutive series (Clemson, BC, Duke, Bakersfield, VT) and now stands at 36-13 on the season, 18-9 in conference. Sunday’s loss snaps the Pack’s 12 game win streak, but they’re still 14 for their last 17. State’s 18 conference wins ties the program high for a single season (’08).
State hosts UNC-G Tuesday at 6pm to close out their 2012 regular season home schedule, then travel to Tallahassee for three against the ‘Noles Thursday thru Saturday to close out the regular season. The ACC Tournament then gets underway the following Wednesday (5/23).
With all but two games in the books for the second to last weekend of the ACC Baseball season (FSU and Clemson rained out Sunday, will play a twin bill Monday), the seedings for the upcoming ACC Tournament are beginning to take shape. The results of this past weekend’s games (conference games only) are as follows:
- NC State @ Virginia Tech â€“ Pack takes series 2 games to 1.
- N Carolina @ Duke â€“ Carolina sweeps series 3-0
- Wake @ Miami â€“ Canes wins series 2-1
- Georgia Tech @ Virginia â€“ UVa wins series 2-1
- FSU @ Clemson â€“ Clemson takes game 1; games 2 & 3 to be played Monday
Missing out on the sweep Sunday against VT cost the Pack a shot at getting past FSU for the Atlantic title, but as we’ve talked about already in a couple of other entries, that was pretty much a pipe dream anyway. However, it also left the door open for Clemson (combined with their Saturday win vs FSU) to still have a shot at overtaking the Pack. Currently, the Pack’s magic number for 2nd place in the Atlantic (and the #3 ACC Tournament seed) is technically 3, but since the Pack owns the tiebreaker against the Tigers, it is effectively 2 (meaning that any combination of NC State wins and/or Clemson losses equaling 2 clinches it). State could clinch Monday if FSU sweeps the doubleheader @Clemson.
On the power of their sweep at Duke, Carolina clinches the Coastal title. Carolina also still has a shot to overtake FSU for the #1 seed, but FSU’s magic number to close the door on the Heels is 2. FSU and Carolina didn’t play head to head this year, so any tie would likely be broken on the results of the Pack’s upcoming three game set against FSU. That is to say…if State finds a way to take at least two @FSU and Carolina and FSU end up tied in the standings…Carolina takes it because they took 2/3 from us and we are the highest in the standings of their common opponents (this scenario also requires Clemson to sweep Monday’s doubleheader; it could also happen if FSU and Clemson split Monday, then State sweeps the ‘Noles).
Despite only three games left in the season (five for FSU and Clemson), there are still way too many possible shifts in standings and tournament seedings to effectively go into them all without it becoming very confusing…so I won’t. What we do know now is this…
Coming in the front door for the ACC Tournament are FSU (21-4), Carolina (19-8), State (18-9), UVa (16-11), Clemson (15-10) and Miami (14-13), who have all clinched a spot in the tournament.
Duke is now eliminated from contention mathematically, but that does little to clean up the jumble at the back door to the tournament. Five teams separated by no more than two games in the standings (VT, GT, Wake, Maryland and BC) are still vying for the last two spots. GT (home vs Miami) and Wake (home vs Clemson) probably have the best shot, while VT has to travel to Carolina. Both Maryland and BC close out at home (vs UVa and Duke respectively), but both must sweep and get a lot of help elsewhere.
Current Conference Standings, courtesy of theACC.com:
|(As Of May 13)|
Final Weekend Schedule
NOTE: All games scheduled Thursday 5/17 thru Saturday 5/19:
- NC State @ FSU
- Virginia Tech @ N Carolina
- Clemson @ Wake Forest
- Virginia @ Maryland
- Miami @ Georgia Tech
- Duke @ Boston College
Once next weekend’s games are in the book, we’ll have an ACC Tourney preview with seedings, etc. for each pool. For more information on the ACC Tournament schedule, tournament format and seeding procedures you can go here.
We’ll be updating this entry Monday and Tuesday with any additional media links, updated rankings and RPI numbers, and a little bit of discussion about where the Pack stands with regard to snagging a national seed for the NCAA Tournament, so be sure to check back periodically.
Lots of great entries hitting the front page of the main blog the past few days so be sure to scroll down and check them out. Also, make sure to hit the SFN Forums so you don’t miss out on even more great NC State discussion.