Brett Austin hit the first homer of his career and Carlos Rodon fanned 11 as N.C. State held on to edge Maryland 3-2 on Friday night at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The Wolfpack (18-9, 4-6 ACC) leapt out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but that would be all the scoring the Pack could muster. N.C. State’s pitching did the rest, holding Maryland (14-11, 3-7) scoreless until the eighth. The Terrapins scored once in the eighth and left the bases loaded, then scored again in the ninth before leaving the tying run at second.
Rodon (3-2) struck out 11 on the evening, the third time this season that he’s hit double digits. The sophomore lefthander has fanned at least eight batters in all seven starts in 2013, and leads the nation with 73 strikeouts. Rodon left with the bases loaded after 7 2/3 innings, holding the Terps to one earned on five hits and two walks.
Austin led off the game with the first home run of his career. He added a double in the ninth inning to go 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Ryan Wilkins faced two batters after Rodon left, then turned the ball over to Grant Sasser to close. Sasser held the Terrapins to one hit in the ninth to record his first save of the year.
Maryland starter Jimmy Reed went the distance, holding the Wolfpack to one earned run on five hits and a walk, striking out four over eight innings.
Austin homered on the second pitch of the game to put N.C. State on top. Turner followed with a single through the left side. Fincher reached next on a fielder’s choice to second base. Turner reached and advanced to third on the play due to a throwing error. Brett Williams moved both into scoring position with a ground ball. Bryan Adametz drove in the second run with a one-out grounder to short. Senay reached on a fielding error by the shortstop to make it 3-0.
The Terps made it interesting in the late innings, cutting the lead to 3-1 on a two-out rally in the eighth. After Rodon retired the first two batters of the inning, Maryland loaded the bases on a walk, a single and a hit batsman. Another hit batsman pushed the lone run across before Wilkins struck out the next batter to end the threat.
In the ninth, back-to-back pinch hit singles put runners on first and second with nobody out. A sac bunt moved them both into scoring position, and a groundball trimmed the lead to 3-2. With the tying run at second, Sasser induced a fly ball to left to end the game.
East Carolina 3, N.C. Central 0: Sophomore Jeff Hoffman tossed a one-hit complete game shutout and junior Zach Houchins collected three hits with two RBI in host East Carolina’s victory over N.C. Central.
With the win the Pirates improve to 13-14, while the Eagles (18-10) saw their nine-game win streak come to an end.
Hoffman (3-3), allowed just two runners to reach scoring position, retired 27 of 32 batters he faced recording seven strikeouts, 11 groundouts and eight flyouts in the two-hour contest. The right-hander also walked three and hit two batters to go along with the lone hit, which came in the fourth frame with one out. Five of his seven strikeouts ended an inning and he had multiple punch outs in the second and fifth frames. Hoffman retired nine of the final 10 batters to pick up his third win of the season.
Michael Romano (2-4) suffered the loss allowing three runs (all earned) on 11 hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. Andrew Vernon tossed a perfect eighth with one strikeout.