DURHAM, N.C. – No. 4 NC State claimed the series opener over No. 9 Duke, defeating the Blue Devils, 9-2, Friday evening at Jack Coombs Field.
NC State scored five runs on 10 singles the first 3.2 innings before a Patrick Bailey bases-loaded triple with two outs in the fourth broke the game open. Only two of the Wolfpack’s 15 hits went for extra bases, but NC State had at least one base knock in each of the first seven innings.
Duke’s Adam Laskey (6-3) suffered the loss, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on 11 hits over 3.2 innings, while NC State’s Reid Johnston (6-0) pitched 6.2 innings to earn the win.
“Our two relief pitchers did a terrific job over the back half of the ballgame really recaptured momentum for our team,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “Matt Dockman and Hunter Davis threw the ball exceptionally well.”
Zack Kone accounted for two of the Blue Devils’ six hits, doubling in the fourth and singling in the eighth. Kennie Taylor tripled and scored in the second while Jimmy Herron had an RBI double in the fifth.
“We had some loud contact right at some people,” Pollard added. Zack Kone had good swings. Joey Loperfido swung the bat a lot better than his stat line is going to indicate. Griffin [Conine] hit some balls right on the nose tonight. Michael Smiciklas had two really good at bats. We had more quality at bats than we have runs and hits to show for it tonight. That’s sometimes part of the game.”
Duke and NC State resume the series at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at Jack Coombs Field.