ACC Baseball Notebook

Wolfpack looks for victory following opening win

calexander@newsobserver.comMay 24, 2013 

— N.C. State again got just the start it wanted in the ACC Baseball Championship.

Now, about the follow-up.

In 2011, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Wolfpack ripped Florida State 7-0 in its tournament opener, then lost the next two games in pool play.

A year ago, N.C. State rallied in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 victory over Miami in its first game in Greensboro. The Pack then lost the next two, including a 12-inning thriller against North Carolina.

See a trend there? The Wolfpack (43-13), after beating Clemson 6-3 on Wednesday, will look to reverse it Friday when it faces Miami in an 11 a.m. start at DBAP.

Sophomore right-hander Logan Jernigan (1-0, 0.84 ERA) will start for the Pack as N.C. State coach Elliott Avent will wait until Saturday night against North Carolina to pitch All-ACC left-hander Carlos Rodon. Jernigan missed six starts this season with a broken hand, but in his last start allowed no runs and three hits in 4 1/3 innings against Duke.

Freshman left-hander Brad Stone was the Pack starter Wednesday, going five strong innings. Senior Josh Easley took it from there, allowing one run over the last four innings.

“Last year at this time (Stone) was pitching at Ardrey Kell High in Charlotte, watching this and thinking, ‘Wow, this is kind of cool,’ ” Avent said.

Miami is expected to start sophomore lefty Chris Diaz (6-4, 158 ERA). Diaz has not given up more than three earned runs since surrendering five to Virginia on March 29.

ALL ZEROES: North Carolina breezed to a 10-0 win Thursday over Miami in its opener, but Tar Heels starter Kent Emanuel was shaking his head a little afterward.

Emanuel, the ACC pitcher of the year, allowed just four singles in eight innings but didn’t have a strikeout.

“It’s kind of weird, seeing a zero there,” he said of his pitching line.

Emanuel said the Canes were in “total swing mode” during the game and that he induced a string of fly balls and grounders by hitting the edges. Emanuel said he used his fastball 85 percent of the time.

Emanuel failed to record a strikeout in just one other game this season – May 1 against The Citadel, when he pitched just two innings.

AILING A BIT: Virginia won two of three against UNC in their last ACC series, but apparently paid a price. Cavs coach Brian O’Connor said Thursday that while in Chapel Hill, the team picked up a flu bug.

O’Connor said senior Jared King was unable to play Thursday in the 8-2 win against Georgia Tech and a few other players might be feeling the effects of the flu strain. King’s absence caused some lineup shuffling.

“I’m proud of our guys, to not have a normal lineup and still be able to figure it out,” O’Connor said.

NOTED: Virginia needed a strong outing from Scott Silverstein, the team leader in ERA amongst starters, after being blown out by Virginia Tech 10-1 in the opener. What the Cavaliers got was the longest outing Silverstein has made in 31 starts and the longest for a Virginia starter this season – going 8 2/3 innings and giving up just two runs on 10 hits and six strikeouts.

The Yellow Jackets’ Kyle Wren hit the 19th triple of his career in the first inning and finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. Wren’s father, Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren, was in attendance to watch the junior outfielder.

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