NC State hopes homestand heals what ails them

jgiglio@newsobserver.comApril 17, 2014 

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Coach Elliot Avent’s Wolfpack is 12th in the 14-team ACC. “Now we’re at home, I just hope it’s not too late,” he says. “We’ve got to put a run together.”

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Rain washed out N.C. State’s first chance to put its baseball season back together.

The Wolfpack (20-15, 6-12 ACC) will get a second chance against Boston College this weekend. Starting with a three-game set against the Eagles (12-24, 3-15), the next 15 games on N.C. State’s schedule will be at home.

The first game of the series with the Eagles is 6:30 p.m. Friday at Doak Field, where N.C. State is 13-4.

After the collapse at Duke last Sunday, when the Wolfpack squandered a six-run lead in the eighth inning en route to an 11-10 loss, coach Elliott Avent would welcome any game, anywhere, but the Wolfpack certainly looks forward to the chance to make a move in the ACC standings in the comfort of its home.

“Now we’re at home, I just hope it’s not too late,” Avent said Thursday at his radio show. “We’ve got to put a run together.”

N.C. State’s game with North Carolina was rained out Tuesday, which Avent had hoped would be a chance to put what he called a “devastating” loss to Duke behind the Wolfpack.

N.C. State starts the weekend 12th in the ACC. The top 10, of 14 teams, make the ACC tournament. The schedule breaks the Wolfpack’s way with BC (14th) and Virginia Tech (11th) coming up.

The Wolfpack also gets Wake Forest (11-7), a surprise at fourth place, at home from May 9-12.

The loss at Duke was the fourth of six ACC series N.C. State has lost. The Wolfpack lost only three of 10 ACC series last season.

Three of the series losses this season have been on the road, a fact not lost on Avent.

“It has been a tough year,” he said. “It’s not about the schedule, but the schedule does add to it.”

Confidence has been one of the biggest issues, Avent said. Going back to the Clemson series April 5-7, Avent said his team has actually been playing its best baseball and he included the final two games against Duke.

“Unfortunately, confidence with players also is associated with winning,” he said. “You lose confidence through losing.”

No loss dented N.C. State’s confidence as much as Sunday’s at Duke. Avent said it has been topic of discussion with the players all week.

He’s eager to see how his team will react.

“That loss Sunday, we’ll see Friday,” Avent said. “This is a big weekend for us. We’re going to have to get hot and bring it all together.”

•  Note: Avent said N.C. State and UNC are working to reschedule Tuesday’s rainout. Avent mentioned April 30 and May 6 as possible makeup dates, with the game still being played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

“We’re going to do everything we can to play this game,” he said.

The two teams met five times last year, including twice at the College World Series, and have played at least once every year since 1919.

Giglio: 919-829-8938; Twitter: @jwgiglio

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