Carlos Rodon threw eight innings, giving up six hits and striking out seven as North Carolina State defeated the Boston College baseball team, 5-1, on Friday night at Doak Field in Raleigh. The loss dropped BC to 12-25 on the year, 3-16 in ACC play while the Wolfpack improved to 21-15, 7-12 in ACC play.
NC State remains two back in the loss column to Maryland for the final ACC playoff spot after the Terrapins beat Georgia Tech on Friday. As for BC, it's pretty much just a matter of time before they're eliminated from postseason contention.
John Gorman threw 5.2 innings allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out seven. He did walk five, though, and threw two wild pitches as NC State scored two in the first and one in the sixth off the BC starter. Preston Palmeiro had an RBI single and Logan Ratledge scored on a passed ball in the first (unearned). In the sixth, Andrew Knizer hit a two-RBI double off Luke Fernandes' first pitch of the game in relief break open the game.
Offensively, BC mustered just six hits. Blake Butera hit an RBI single in the fifth for the Eagles' only run, and Chris Shaw went 2-for-3. They left two on base in the eighth and one on base in the ninth but otherwise limped home. Joe Cronin left a small village on the paths on Friday, stranding three, While Logan Hoggarth and Nick Colucci stranded four runners combined in the DH slot through a combined 0-for-4 effort. Two days after scoring five RBI, Michael Strem was also hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts.
Rodon threw 115 pitches, two less than John Gorman, but he threw 2.1 more innings. Rodon walked three and struck out seven. They had eight first or second pitch outs, including a sacrifice bunt in the first inning. That's not station-to-station working of counts.
As for BC's pitching, the Wednesday game against UMass-Lowell clearly played a factor in the pitching staff. Fernandes threw three innings against the River Hawks in picking up the victory. He didn't quite have his command on Friday and was partially shelled. Giving up the two-RBI double, he was responsible (although the runs weren't charged to him) for the Wolfpack breaking open the game, and he struggled with his command in his only full inning of work. Fernandes, normally a lockdown reliever, finished his day with an inning and a third of work, two walks, and a strikeout.
Nick Poore struck out the side in the eighth for his only inning of work.
In terms of the playoffs, BC falls six back in the loss column of the Terps for the final playoff spot. If Maryland were to lose out the rest of the way, they would finish with a record of 8-21 in ACC play. That means, after doing some math, BC can finish no better 14-16 in ACC play if they won every game the rest of the way. That means the magic number is five for elimination from the ACC Tournament.
The two teams square off again at 6:30 PM. The game will be televised on ESPN3.