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May 25, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. - The NC State Wolfpack completed the first day of the 2011 ACC Baseball Championship with the event's third one-sided performance, defeating Florida State 7-0.
NC State (34-23) was led by starter Cory Mazzoni (5-6), who held the Seminoles to four hits over seven innings, while striking out nine and walking only one.
Florida State (40-16) used six pitchers in a failed attempt to match Mazzoni. The second-seeded Seminoles did not help their chances with seven walks, three hit batters, a wild pitch, a passed ball and two errors. Seminoles coach Mike Martin called his team's effort "uncharacteristic, and an old-fashioned fanny whipping."
Two Wolfpack batters reached base in each of the first two innings against FSU starter Robert Benincasa (2-2) but he worked out of both jams.
Mazzoni asserted his dominance in the second inning. Jayce Boyd led off the inning with a double but Mazzoni struck out the next three batters. He also fanned Mike McGee after a two-out double by Rafael Lopez in the third inning.
Mazzoni said he had command of four pitches and concentrating on pounding the lower part of the zone.
NC State coach Elliott Avent added, "I don't think he had his best stuff. But this shows how he can compete. He's tough."
NC State broke ahead in the top of the third inning. Brett Williams led off with a single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Pratt Maynard hit a line drive to right field, which was dropped by James Ramsey. Williams advanced to third on the error and scored on a fly ball by Harold Riggins. Andrew Ciencin doubled Maynard to third base but Benincasa ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Wolfpack created some separation in the fifth inning. Ciencin's two-out, full-count single scored Pratt Maynard from second. Maynard had reached base on a single and moved to second on a walk. Ciencin's hit also drove reliever Mack Waugh from the mound. Danny Canela greeted Gary Merians with a single that was muffed by Seminoles center fielder Mike McGee, allowing both runners to score.
Mazzoni's effort was augmented by defensive gems from second baseman Matt Berquist, left fielder Tarran Senay and especially center fielder Brett Williams, whose diving catch in center field robbed James Ramsey of a lead-off, extra-base hit in the fourth inning.
D.J. Thomas completed the shutout, with two hitless innings. By that time NC State had extended its lead. Berquist's fourth home run drove in two runs in the seventh, while back-to-back doubles by Chris Diaz and Williams ended the scoring in the eighth.
Both teams are in action Thursday. Florida State plays Clemson in the afternoon game, with NC State and Georgia Tech playing the night game.
Florida State opens defense of its ACC title in a rematch of the 2010 tournament championship game ... the Seminoles captured the Atlantic Division regular season title for the fourth time in five years, finishing two games ahead of second-place Clemson ... with the loss, FSU is now 12-9 all-time in ACC Tournament games in the DBAP ... Florida State (5) and NC State (4) have combined for 11 ACC titles.
NC State improves to 77-66 in ACC Tournament play while Florida State drops to 61-31 ... Florida State is shutout for only the second time this year (April 2, 5-0 at Maryland) ... the Seminoles are also held to four-or-less hits for only the second time this season ... the Wolfpack has won its last two games against FSU by a 19-to-4 margin ... NC State has won five in a row and seven of its last nine games.
Over his last four starts Cory Mazzoni is 2-1 with a 0.91 ERA; Mazzoni has eight-or-more strikeouts in each of his last five games, and 10 times overall; is fourth among active ACC pitchers with 244 career strikeouts ... Matt Bergquist goes 2-for-4 and extends his hitting streak to 10 games; the Orange Park, Fla., sophomore leads the team in RBIs (44) and his four homeruns rank second ... Andrew Ciencin's fifth-inning RBI was his 34th of the season and 135th of his career, tying him for ninth among active ACC players.
Jayce Boyd's second-inning double extended the sophomore 1B's hitting streak to 13 straight games, tying him with Clemson's John Hinson for the longest current hitting streak in the ACC.