BLACKSBURG, Virginia – Baseball’s No. 20 NC State (19-11, 7-7 ACC) scored three in the first inning and never looked back in beating No. 23 Virginia Tech (20-8, 7-6 ACC), 10-3, Sunday in the series finale at English Field in Atlantic Union Bank Park.
With the victory, the Wolfpack managed to avoid the sweep by the Hokies.
The Pack totaled 14 hits in the game with five players putting in multi-hit performances, led by At Dominic Pilolli’s 4-for-5 career-tying day with two RBIs.
Three different players hit a home run in the contest, highlighted by by Jacob Cozard first career circuit and at Tommy White 13th of the season to tie the freshman program record. Sunday was the seventh time this season that the Pack had hit three or more home runs in a game.
In addition to the team’s offensive efforts on Sunday, Noah Soles had his fifth multi-hit performance in six games as he tallied 14 hits in that span. As well, LuJames Groover III extended his hitting streak to 17 and hit the base streak at 20.
On the mound, Canaan silver improved to 4-0 on the year as he tied his career in innings pitched with 6.0, allowing an earned run on two hits and not allowing a walk while totaling five strikeouts. Chris Villaman notched his seventh stoppage of the year, including his sixth in as many appearances, pitching the final three innings of the contest.
Devonte Brown started the game with a solo left shot for his seventh homer of the season. He is the first NC State player to start a game with a home run since Logan Ratledge did so on May 11, 2015 at Wake Forest.
After Groover walked and White laced an offfield single to put the runners in the corners, Pilolli drove Groover in with a base hit to the left side to make it 2-0. Then with bases loaded after Josh Hood walked, a fly ball sacrificed to left field by Soles allowed White to cross home plate and add the third run.
NC State scored a pair of runs in the fourth, extending their lead to 5-0. Cozart scored on a double play with the bases loaded after he, Brown and Groover all fired steps, then Brown came back from third on wild pitch.
Virginia Tech went up the board in fifth via Nick Biddison’s single in the middle after a two-out walk and pitch-hit runners at first and second.
The Pack responded in sixth with a pair of runs to go up 7-1. Cozart homered to center field for the first home run of his career, then Pilolli scored his second RBI of the day when he led Groover from second with a single to right field, his third hit of the game, after a step and the ground put him in a position to score.
The Hokies cut their deficit again in the seventh with Cade Hunter’s first homer to the left field wall, making it 7-2.
In the eighth, White threw his team-leading 13th homer to center field to give NC State an 8-2 lead. With the circuit, he tied the freshman program record, which was set by Patrick Bailey in 2018.
Tanner Schobel salvaged a run for the Hokies late in the eighth with a solo shot to left center, but NC State responded in the ninth with two more runs to cap off a good day at the plate. JT Jarret and Soles hit an error and a double respectively to start the threat, and a wild pitch followed by Cozart’s RBI double gave the runners the score.
NC State returns home Tuesday for a midweek contest with UNCW for the first of two meetings between the teams this year. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Doak Field in Dail Park and the game will be broadcast on ACCNX. There will also be an audio stream on WKNC 88.1 and the Varsity Network app.