N.C. State Wins Over Clemson in Series Opener, 11-8

N.C. State toppled No. 2 Clemson 11-8 in an action-packed series opener at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday night. The Wolfpack’s offense, particularly with two outs, proved decisive as they snapped a five-game losing streak and edged closer to the .500 mark in ACC play, standing at 9-7 and advancing their overall record to 19-12. Meanwhile, the Tigers, stunned by the onslaught, fell to 28-5, yet still hold a commanding 10-3 record within the ACC.

The game began with fireworks as N.C. State’s Josh Hogue launched a solo homer in the opening frame, a statement that set the tone for the evening. Clemson’s Will Taylor quickly countered, blasting a two-run shot to stake the Tigers to an early lead.

However, the Wolfpack refused to be subdued, demonstrating resilience in a four-run fourth inning, highlighted by Eli Serrano III’s clutch two-out, two-run double followed by Drew Lanphere’s important single, injecting momentum into their dugout.

Clemson, unphased, responded emphatically. Jimmy Obertop sent a ball a staggering 464 feet deep into the night sky, racking up his ninth home run of the season. Taylor, shining bright again, registered a two-out, two-run single to reclaim the lead for the Tigers at 6-5. But in this game of tit-for-tat, the advantage was always fleeting.

An error during the fifth inning proved costly for Clemson, as N.C. State capitalized with four decisive two-out runs in immediate retribution. Blake Wright’s leadoff home run for Clemson in the bottom half attempted to bridge the gap, but the Wolfpack’s relentless hitting with two outs continuously thwarted any thoughts of a complete comeback.

Clemson’s fight persisted as Nawrocki grounded out to bring the game within striking distance, but N.C. State extended their lead with timely hits from Alec Makarewicz and Luke Nixon in the game’s waning moments. These were blows from which Clemson would not recover.

On the mound, Shane Van Dam for N.C. State was great out of the bullpen, tossing 4.2 innings of two-hit ball and accumulating eight strikeouts. This dominant display earned him a well-deserved fourth victory of the season. Derrick Smith, calm under the mounting pressure, sealed the deal in the ninth, registering his second save and ensuring that the Wolfpack would leave the field victorious.

Rocco Reid’s stint on the mound for Clemson did not fare as well, as he endured the loss. Amid the echoes of clashing bats and the roar of the crowd, the Tigers had to accept a rare stumble on their turf.

Looking Ahead to Game Two

The spectacle of college baseball continues to captivate as N.C. State and Clemson gear up for the next installment of this pivotal ACC series. With first-game jitters out of the way and strategies clear, both teams will bring their A-game in hopes of triumphing in Saturday’s showdown, set to air at 8 p.m. on ACC Network.

For the Wolfpack, sustaining the offensive onslaught and late-game heroics will be paramount, while the Tigers must reassess and recover to even the series.

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