Wolfpack Baseball (30-21, 11-16 ACC, 5th Atlantic) closes out the regular season this weekend on the road in Blacksburg vs the Hokies of VT.
Winners of 8 of their last 10 games, including 3 consecutive weekend series wins, the Pack is finally playing at least something like the top 10 team they were purported to be in the pre-season. Unfortunately it very well might be too little too late.
With the ACC Baseball Tourney getting underway on Tuesday of next week (whether the Pack finds themselves there or not) this weekend’s ACC series are all Thursday thru Saturday affairs.
Week in Review
State took 2 of 3 from Wake Forest last weekend, including dominant wins on Friday and Saturday. After dropping the series finale on Monday in extra innings vs the Deacs, the Pack bounced back on Tuesday to subdue Radford on the road.
RADFORD, Va. – NC State baseball’s Brett Austin provided a career high four RBIs including two doubles and a homer as the Wolfpack rolled 6-1 over Radford on Tuesday night at Radford University Baseball Stadium.
The Pack (30-21) won its ninth game in the last 12 tries by taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and adding two more in the fifth. Radford (30-20) trimmed the lead to 3-1, before State piled on two more runs in the seventh and another in the ninth to set the final at 6-1.
Austin carried the day with a 3-for-4 performance including four RBIs, a run, and a walk while doubling twice and contributing his fourth homer of the year, a solo shot in the ninth. Andrew Knizner came one hit shy of matching a career high in a 4-for-5 outing with a triple, an RBI, and two runs.
The Wolfpack pitching staff carried a no-hitter two outs into the sixth inning. Joe O’Donnell (3-0) earned the win with three perfect innings in the third, fourth, and fifth with four punchouts. Ryan Williamson started and no-hit the Highlanders for two innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
20-29 (8-19 ACC, 7th Coastal); Last 10:2-8; Streak:Lost 1
2013: 40-22 (15-14 ACC)
After a 2013 campaign which saw the Hokies ranked for much of the season and Blacksburg as an NCAA Tournament regional host, the 2014 season has seen VT treading water all season long. Losers of their last 3 ACC series, including sweeps at the hands of Duke and Carolina, VT is currently fighting to stay ahead of ND and NOT finish as the worst team in the ACC.
VT is an above average hitting club with respect to batting average (.279, t2nd ACC), but they’ve had a difficult time generating the number of runs one might expect (5.02 rpg, 10th), and they don’t generally hit for power (11HR, t12th).
- Batting avg – .279 (NCSU .267)
- Runs/game – 5.02 (NCSU 5.75)
- HR – 11 (NCSU 28)
- Total Hits – 476 (NCSU 468)
- Total Runs – 251 (NCSU 293)
- OBP – .375 (NCSU .365)
- Slgpct – .353 (NCSU .370)
- Walks – 225 (NCSU 219)
- Struck Out – 317 (379)
- Stolen Bases – 56/75 (NCSU 66/83)
The biggest Hokie threats at the plate include:
Mark Zagunis (#2,JR,C/OF) – .332 avg, 1HR, 35RBI, 10 doubles, .418 slgpct, 43runs, 18K/31BB, 15/18SB
Saige Jenco (#18,FR,CF) – .330 avg, 1HR, 15RBI, .374 slgpct, 36 runs, 19K/39BB, 20/26SB
Brendon Hayden (#34,JR,DH/1B) – .319 avg, 7HR, 43RBI, 16 doubles, .530 slgpct, 34 runs, 45K/30BB, 2/3SB
Sean Keselica (#25,JR,1B/P/DH) – .263 avg, 0HR, 36RBI, .321 slgpct, 23 runs, 36K/21BB, 1/1SB
Alex Perez (#8,JR,2B) – .250 avg, 0HR, 21RBI, .301 slgpct, 28 runs, 29K/28BB, 2/3SB
VT is the worst pitching team in the league with respect to giving up runs, both earned and otherwise. Their team ERA of 5.12 and their runs allowed/game of 5.99 are last in the league and it’s not even close. Even BC looks at VT’s pitching numbers and says “WTF???”
- ERA – 5.12 (NCSU 3.08)
- Runs Allowed/game – 5.99 (NCSU 3.76)
- Total Hits Allowed – 477 (NCSU 390)
- Total Runs Allowed – 296 (NCSU 192)
- HR Allowed – 20 (NCSU 18)
- Against avg – .276 (NCSU .231)
- Strikeouts – 309 (NCSU 473)
- Walks Allowed – 205 (NCSU 208)
VT’s starters this weekend:
Sean Keselica (#25,JR,LHP) – 3-4, 4.19 ERA, 58.0IP, 2HR, 34K/28BB, against avg .267
Brad Markey (#35,SR,RHP) – 2-7, 3.22 ERA, 78.1IP, 3HR, 56K/17BB, against avg .252
Kit Scheetz (#9,FR,RHP) – 4-1, 6.04 ERA, 44.2IP, 4HR, 37K/16BB, against avg .317
Defensively, VT is average, with a fldpct of .965 (NCSU .970)
Games Schedule – Pitching Probables – TV
- Thurs 5/15, 5:30pm – Logan Jernigan vs Sean Keselica – ESPN3
- Fri 5/16, 5:30pm – Carlos Rodon vs Brad Markey – none
- Sat 5/17, 2pm – Patrick Peterson vs Kit Scheetz – none
Elsewhere in the ACC this weekend
- Carolina @ Miami
- Duke @ FSU
- BC @ Clemson
- UVa @ Wake
- Pitt @ ND
GT hosts South Florida OOC.
UMd’s regular season is finished and they are idle.
ACC Tourney Picture
- Miami 22-5
- FSU 19-8
- UVa 21-6
- Duke 15-12
- Carolina 14-13
- Maryland 15-14
- Clemson 13-13
- Wake 13-14
- GT 14-16
- Pitt 11-16
- NCSU 11-16
- BC 9-18
As of right now, NCSU would be on the outside looking in because Pitt owns the tiebreaker against the Pack by virtue of a better record vs the highest seeded common opponent (Damn you Blue Devils!!!), though Clemson could change that before the weekend is over if they can manage to sweep BC and Duke gets swept in Tallahassee.
Simply put, State needs to do some winning this weekend and hope for the best in South Bend (and elsewhere) if it wants to land in G’boro next week. If they manage to win at least one more game than Pitt, the tiebreaker won’t matter and they’re in. State closing out against VT is therefore a good thing. Unfortunately, Pitt is closing out against ND.
For (most of) the convoluted possibilities re: the Pack’s ACC Tourney seeding picture, go here.
Without a doubt, Wolfpack Baseball is in the (ahem)…Danger Zone…