After a rally in the eighth inning Friday night, Virginia made the score 7-8 but was unable to tie it up and lost the series opener to NC State. The No. 14 Hoos battled the No. 23 Wolfpack again Saturday afternoon on a sunny spring day in beautiful Davenport Stadium.
Adam Haseley made his first appearance as a starting pitcher in ACC play since pitching against North Carolina in May of 2015. He kept NC State scoreless, throwing 95 pitches in six shutout innings, earning five strikeouts. Head Coach Brian O’Connor said that “Adam was tremendous…he gave us as good of a start as you can.”
Virginia struck first in the bottom of the fifth as Andy Weber hit his seventh RBI of the season to bring Ryan Karstetter in for the score. After six innings, the Hoos held the Wolfpack to zero as Tyler Shambora took over for Adam Haseley at the top of the seventh. Matt Thaiss commented that he has “full confidence in Adam Haseley” who gave the team “a different look from Connor (Jones).” Pitching was on point for Virginia on Saturday, as Shambora continued Haseley’s streak of strikeouts.
A terrific double play at the top of the eighth and a strikeout by Tyler Shambora ended NC State’s hopes of a comeback at the top of the eighth.
Ryan Brown of NC State remained as the NC State pitcher in the 8th inning but was replaced by Beckman when he could not get the third out. The Virginia crowd applauded Brown for his strong performance of five strikeouts, three hits, and one run. Coach O’Connor also gave credit to State’s Brown as he “gave his team a chance to win.”
After the switch, Matt Thaiss hit a double to right center, with Haseley and Clement scoring. Shortly after that, Jack Gerstenmaier doubled to left field, allowing Pavin Smith and Matt Thaiss to reach home plate. Trying to earn the final out, Chris Williams came in for NC State’s Beckman, and did so with one pitch.
Alec Bettinger relieved Shambora after two NC state players reached base in the top of the 9th. Kinneman scored after Deatherage doubled to right center, but the Hoos were able to get an out at second base. After an RBI single by Dunand, the score was tightened at 5-2. A call of catcher’s interference by the umpire allowed NC State’s McLain to reach first, to the dismay of the Virginia fans. However, a fly ball by Knizner got the third out and the Hoos were able to even up the series 1-1 winning 5-3. Coach O’Connor says the team will “keep grinding it out and hopefully the results will continue to get better.”
They faced the Wolfpack again Sunday at Davenport Field where the Hoos gave up 5 runs and only scored 2, dropping the series to NC State 2-1.