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MCLAMB: NC State Finding Ways To Win

April 1, 2018
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NC State keeps finding ways to win. The Wolfpack may find itself having one of the special seasons in program history.

With its 1-0 blanking of Virginia Tech on the road Saturday, NC State picked up its fourth ACC series win this season. The Wolfpack is 23-5 overall and State’s 9-3 mark in the ACC is best in the conference.

The Wolfpack has talent, personality and plenty of veterans on its roster.

Brett Kinneman, Brad Debo, Josh McLain, Evan Edwards and Brock Deatherage are just a few members of a seasoned lineup that can rake at the dish. The Mayor of Kings Mountain, Will Wilson, is a year older after a sensational freshman campaign in 2017. Patrick Bailey and Dillon Cooper have meshed well as regulars in 2018.

The pitching staff has been terrific. Brian Brown leads the conference and was fourth in the nation in earned run average. His six scoreless innings Saturday against Virginia Tech will not hurt his ERA one bit.  

Kent Klyman has been terrific out of the bullpen. His work bridging between the starter to the late inning guy is vital for a successful team.

Johnny Piedmonte as a starter and Joe O’Donnell as a closer have given NC State as much as head coach Elliott Avent could have hoped for. The duo gives the Wolfpack pitching staff a veteran tandem that frankly is only behind Avent and associate head coach Chris Hart in terms of tenure. It seems like both have been at State forever and in Piedmonte’s case it might not be that  far off.

When NC State needs to hit, it gets the production from the lineup that it needs to succeed. When the runs are not forthcoming, the pitching staff puts enough goose eggs on the scoreboard to get the Pack by.

There are six series left to play for NC State and when the Wolfpack reaches the month of May, having just completed three-game sets with neighbors Duke and North Carolina, who also happen to be the two of the top teams in the Coastal Division, there will be a much clearer picture of where the team stands.

The final series of the season is in Tallahassee against Florida State and that is shaping up to be massive.

The difference between a great baseball team and a poor one is not a wide of a gap as it is in other sports. Typically the great teams win two-of-three and the bad ones lose a pair over the weekend. Then the midweek matchups create some more separation, as solid clubs are successful out of conference while the lesser ones tend to be middling at best.

The Pack has won almost 80 percent of its games overall and exactly 75 percent of its league games. Virginia Tech is now 11-15 overall and 5-7 in the ACC.

NC State was thrashed by Virginia Tech in the series opener Thursday. The next day it was the Wolfpack who thumped the Hokies.

The series finale, and the winner of the three-game set, was determined by a lone run scored in the top of the eighth inning. State had to work around two errors in the bottom of the eighth and Virginia Tech had the tying run at second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

It is that close.

The separation is miniscule but it is NC State that keeps finding a way to win. That is what great teams tend to do.

The stars are aligning and the team is not too high after wins nor too flustered after losses. It is a good sign for Avent.

Right now at least, NC State is looking like a title contender. The Wolfpack will be a team to watch over the next two months of the regular season.

Tags: Baseball
Discussion from...

MCLAMB: NC State Finding Ways To Win

Packfanme1
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Seems like it is a different way to win and a different guy every game. I love this team! Keep it up, Pack!
Rob McLamb
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Packfanme1 said:

Seems like it is a different way to win and a different guy every game. I love this team! Keep it up, Pack!
And that is a general trait that separates good teams from great ones. It is early, but the Wolfpack has the characteristics of a great team. They seem to always find a way.
Twitter: @RobMcLamb
wilmwolf80
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So many variables in baseball, you have to be able to win all kinds of games. I love that we can win a blowout one game, then have a grind out pitchers duel the next and be comfortable with that.
GrayWolf98
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Pitching is so important in baseball. The offense can bail you out when your pitcher doesnt have it to some extent, but at some point, you have to get the other team out. this staff from top to bottom has been excellent and very consistent. I have enjoyed following Pack9 for sure.
The artist formerly known as LuvtheHerb - DONT PANIC!
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