The way Josh McLain figures it, a five-game losing streak — including four in ACC play — was just a matter of bad timing for N.C. State.
The Wolfpack got back in the ACC win column with an 8-5 decision over Wake Forest on Friday night.
Brett Kinneman homered and Will Wilson drove in four runs in N.C. State’s sixth straight win since a 5-4 loss to Campbell on May 2.
“We’re headed in the right direction again,” said McLain, who went 3 for 5 on Friday night.
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N.C. State (37-12, 16-9 ACC) was burning through the ACC, with seven straight series wins, before it got swept by North Carolina the last weekend in April.
In the interim, Clemson (18-9) has won eight of nine in league play to take a two-game lead in the Atlantic Division.
N.C. State sandwiched those three losses to UNC with a loss at Duke and a home loss to Campbell but McLain has the right perspective for that hiccup.
“We’ve lost one midweek game and one series all year and those happened at the same time,” McLain said.
Kinneman, with his first ACC home run in a month, helped the Wolfpack jump out to a 5-0 lead. He hit a three-run home run in the first inning and Wilson added a two-run single in the fourth.
The Deacs (22-27, 11-14) got on the board in the fifth inning with three runs on three walks, a passed ball, a balk and a single. Bobby Seymour’s two-run homer tied in the top of the sixth.
The Wolfpack ot what it needed in the sixth when Wake reliever Antonio Menendez hit Stephen Pitarra to lead off the inning. McLain followed a double and then Menendez balked in Pitarra. McLain scored on sacrifice fly by Wilson.
N.C. State started to get right with a sweep of William & Mary last weekend and then a pair of wins over James Madison this week.
“We didn’t play great against William & Mary but we found ways to win,” Wilson said. “It was heartbreak series to lose to Carolina but we figured it out and got everything going again.”
N.C. State will try to clinch its eighth ACC series win on Saturday (6:30 p.m.). The series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m.