NC State Outslugs Clemson, 13-8, in ACC Baseball Championship
May 27, 2010
By Rob Daniels
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The NC State Wolfpack has still lost eight straight regular-season games to Clemson. Think they care now?
Led by four straight run-producing singles with two outs in the sixth inning, the seventh-seeded and resurgent Pack upended No. 2 seed Clemson, 13-8, to conclude the first day of the 2010 ACC Baseball Championship. State (37-20) got home runs from Kyle Wilson and Dallas Poulk and has gone deep 26 times in the past 11 games, nine of which it has won in building an NCAA tournament resume.
"As a team, Clemson got the best of us the past two years," Wilson said. "With two out, the inning's not over. We have such a good lineup that if we get runners on base, we'll score with two outs."
The surge made a winner out of State starter Alex Sogard, a senior from Phoenix best known to Pack fans for securing the last out of the 2008 NCAA Super Regionals. Sogard allowed three earned runs in six innings against the Tigers to improve to 2-2 on the year.
"Throughout the year, we've been a heavy-hitting team," Sogard said. "We know as pitchers that if we can hold down the other team, eventually we'll break out."
That occurred with two gone in the sixth against three Tiger relievers. The Pack didn't crush the ball, but it found holes with the clutch singles.
The mashing was left to Poulk, who followed Wilson's two-out single in the seventh with a blast onto the hill behind the fence in left-center against the Tigers' Kevin Brady that upped the lead to 10-5 and suggested the Wolfpack was on its way.
"Hats off to Kyle. He battled the guy," Poulk said. "And then I got the pitch I wanted and put a good swing on it."
State will enjoy an off day Thursday before returning to competition on Friday night against Georgia Tech.
"(Over) the last month of the season, this has been as good a team to be around as any I've had," coach Elliott Avent said.
The Tigers will seek to regroup and rehabilitate. Outfielder Wilson Boyd, who started 51 regular-season games, missed the tournament opener with a shoulder injury suffered last week. Coach Jack Leggett declined to predict Boyd's availability for Friday's afternoon game against Virginia Tech.
"I just want to see us be consistent and play the way we're capable of playing for an extended period of time," Leggett said.
2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship
NC State (37-20, 15-15 ACC) ... ...improves to 37-20 overall and 75-64 in the ACC Championship. ...has won five straight games, tying for the second longest winning streak of 2010. ...has won two straight games against Clemson in the championship, including a 10-0 (seven innings) win in 2008. ...scored 13 runs after tallying 19 in three games against Clemson in the regular season (Mar. 13-14). ...scored four of its five runs in the sixth inning with two outs and seven of its 13 runs in the game with two down. ...1-2-3-4-5 hitters each recorded multi-hit games and combined to go 13-for-25 at the plate, drove in all 13 runs, and scored nine runs. ...hitters struck out a season-high 14 times. ...senior centerfielder Kyle Wilson has a career-high four runs batted-in. ...is 23-24 in the ACC championship in 12 previous tournaments under head coach Elliot Avent. ...senior rightfielder Drew Poulk has 18 hits in his last 29 at-bats.
Clemson (37-20, 18-12 ACC)... ...falls to 37-20 overall and 99-57 in the ACC Championship. ...needs one victory to become the first team in league history to win 100 ACC championship games. ...snapped a four-game winning streak. ...junior lefthander Casey Harman has struck out 18 batters in his last two outings spanning 12.2 innings in the championship dating back to 2009. ...has played for the ACC championship in 21 of its 26 tournament appearances, 10 more than any other team. ...Clemson has scored at least one run in 124 straight games, dating back to 2008.