N.C. State Evens Series With Virginia By Taking Game Two With 6-0 Shutout
April 9, 2005
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (21-10, 5-7 ACC) fell to the N.C. State Wolfpack (23-10, 6-9 ACC) by the score of 6-0 in the second contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series in front of 1,896 spectators at Davenport Field at UVa Baseball Stadium. N.C. State starting pitcher Brendan Knapp pitched a complete-game shutout and scattered five hits while the Wolfpack posted six runs during the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to hand Virginia its first loss by shutout this season.
The shutout loss was UVa’s first since falling to then #24 ranked Florida State on May 7, 2004 in Charlottesville. Both games of the Virginia/N.C. State series have been decided by shutout as UVa posted a 2-0 shutout victory over NCSU in game one on Friday (April 8th) for the Cavaliers’ single season school-record eighth win by shutout this year. The series is tied now tied at one game apiece.
“Today was a difficult loss for us, but I’ve got to give credit to their starting pitcher (Branden Knapp),” said UVa head baseball coach Brian O’Connor. “He really had us tied in knots today, he pitched a great ballgame. But tomorrow’s a chance for us to win the series. If you win two out of three games in this league, you’re in a good position. We’re playing at home, and both bullpens are strong. Tomorrow should be a great ballgame.”
After a quiet four innings of play, N.C. State took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning courtesy of three hits and one UVa error. NCSU’s Ryan Pond and Lee Mezistrano posted back-to-back singles to lead off the side before the base runners advanced to second and third base on a sacrifice bunt by Ramon Corona. The Wolfpack’s Matt Camp then singled to left field which scored Pond from third base and Mezistrano also scored on the play on a Cavalier fielding error to give N.C. State a two-run lead.
The Wolfpack tacked on another run in the top of the seventh inning to increase their lead to 3-0. NCSU’s Pond reached base to lead off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Ryan Johnson. One batter later, Corona singled to left field to put runners on the corners. In N.C. State’s next at-bat, Pond scored the Wolfpack’s third run of the ballgame on a RBI sacrifice bunt by Camp.
In the top of the eighth inning, N.C. State plated three more runs to stretch its lead to 6-0. Jake Muyco got things started when he singled through the right side before Aaron Bates doubled down the right field line to drive him in for a run to make it 4-0. Bates came around to score a run himself and made it 5-0 one batter later when Brian Aragon tripled off the right field wall. Two batters later, pinch hitter Aaron Cone drove in Aragon with a double to left field to give the Wolfpack a 6-0 advantage.
UVa starting pitcher Mike Ballard (5-3) took the loss on the mound. He went 7.1 innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and struck out two batters.
N.C. State’s Knapp (2-1) recorded the win by going 9.0 shutout innings. He allowed no runs on five hits and struck out a game-high four batters.
With the loss, Virginia’s record falls to 21-10 overall, 5-7 in the ACC. The victory improves N.C. State’s record to 23-10 overall, 6-8 in the conference. The series between UVa and NCSU is now tied at 1-1.
Virginia and N.C. State will return to action on Sunday, April 10th when the Cavaliers and Wolfpack play the third and final contest of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium.
— UVa —