Carolina took two games from State over the weekend before dropping the Sunday finale. The series highlighted the strengths of Carolina's pitching staff as they allowed only nine runs over the entire weekend.
Game One (Friday W2-1):
Zac Gallen threw a complete game and allowed only one hit with five strike outs to lead Carolina over the Wolfpack. Gallen allowed only six hits and the only State run to cross was unearned. Tyler Ramirez hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third to give Carolina its first run before Logan Ratledge scored on a Carolina error to tie the game. Skye Bolt came through in the clutch with a seventh inning solo home run which proved to be the margin of victory for the Heels.
Game Two (Saturday W3-2 in 10):
J.B. Bukauskas put in 6.1 strong innings before Trevor Kelley threw 3.2 innings of strong relief as Carolina gutted out a 3-2 win in extra innings. Bukauskas allowed a pair of solo home runs but only two other hits while going 6.1 innings on only 74 pitches. Kelley was similarly efficient, getting 11 outs on 41 pitches. The game was tied 2-2 going into the tenth. Carolina loaded the bases before Zack Gahagan was hit by a pitch to score Skye Bolt from third to walk off.
Game Three (Sunday L6-3):
Trent Thornton struck out ten in six innings of relief but allowed five earned runs as Carolina lost to State in the final game of the series. Joe Dudek led the Heels with three hits, also chipping in an RBI. Benton Moss started the game for the Heels but lost control in the third, walking the bases loaded before being replaced by Thornton. Landon Lassiter doubled to pull the game closer at 4-3 but the Heels never got closer than that.
Zac Gallen's complete game was the first by a Carolina pitcher this season.
Carolina showed an addiction to small ball in the Saturday game, getting the lead-off man on five of the last six innings and attempting to bunt him over each time. None of those bunts was successful and Carolina did not score in those innings.
Before Carolina's hit by pitch in the tenth to win the game, a State player was hit earlier but the home plate umpire called it a strike rather than a hit by pitch, saying that the State player moved into the ball to force the contact.
Carolina beat Coastal Carolina 9-3 Tuesday and Liberty 6-0 Wednesday. The winning pitchers were Spencer Traynor and Hunter Williams respectively. Coastal Carolina entered the Tuesday game ranked #18 in the nation having beaten Carolina 13-2 earlier in the season.
Carolina's record now sits at 22-14 on the year and 9-9 in ACC play. Good for a tie for second in the Coastal Division and tied for fourth in the conference.