RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State (26-2, 9-2 ACC) starting pitcher Reid Johnston limited the Virginia (16-11, 6-5 ACC) offense to six hits in a 3-0 complete game shutout on Saturday (March 30) at Doak Field at Dail Park.
An RBI double by David Vasquez that scored Tyler McDonough from first base in the second inning and a two-run home run by Jonny Butler in the fifth was all the run support that Johnston needed. The right-hander struck out seven Cavaliers while walking only one. The complete game shutout is only the second in the ACC this season (Connor Thomas – Georgia Tech).
Virginia junior Noah Murdock (Colonial Heights, Va.) turned in his staff-best, fourth quality start. He logged seven innings for the second time this season and third time in his career. He matched Johnston with seven strikeouts, tying a career-high. He faced the minimum four times on the night including a 1-2-3 inning in his final frame.
Lead-off man Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) was the only multi-hit performer for the Cavaliers who were limited to a conference-play low, six hits. Morris led off the top of the ninth inning with a single and a batter later, Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Va.) followed with his first hit of the night to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. Johnston was able to induce a pop out and a ground out to help NC State even the series.
Freshman Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) extended his hit streak to 16 games with a single in the top of the seventh inning. He has now reached base in all 27 games this season.
In relief of Murdock, freshman Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) worked a scoreless eighth inning, facing four batters with one strikeout.
The rubber match of the three-game ACC series between Virginia and NC State is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday (March 31). The Cavaliers will have freshman right-hander Mike Vasil on the mound. NC State has yet to announce a starting pitcher.
• Saturday’s game was the 200th all-time meeting between NC State and Virginia. North Carolina is the only other program the Cavaliers have faced 200 times.
• Virginia was held without a run for the second time this season – Seton Hall-2 (March 2)
• The Cavaliers fall to 1-3 in in the second game of ACC series in 2019