Wilkins Paces No. 27 Wolfpack Past Pirates, 6-1

UABSPORTS.COM Freshman Garrett Brooks
Freshman Garrett Brooks

April 2, 2013

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Ryan Wilkins tossed five no-hit innings and Brett Williams drove in three runs helping No. 27 NC State to a 6-1 victory over East Carolina Tuesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium in non-conference action. With the win the Pack improves to 20-10, while the Pirates fall to 14-15.

Brett Williams' two-RBI double highlighted a three-run third inning that gave the Pack an early 3-0 lead. Grant Clyde singled up the middle to start the stanza and took second when Logan Ratledge reached on a fielding error by Zach Houchins at third base on his sac bunt attempt. Williams stepped to the plate and drove a 1-2 offering from Ryan Williams off the left field wall clearing the bases. Williams scored the third run in the stanza on ground out to short by Trea Turner after he stole third base to move up 90 feet.

Wilkins (3-1) set the tone early on the mound retiring 11-straight Pirates before Jay Cannon reached on a fielding error by the shortstop Turner in the fourth frame. The right-hander composed himself and sat down the next four batters he faced before handing the ball off to Josh Easley in the sixth frame. In all, Wilkins retired 15 of 16 batters face, recording five punch-outs in his first start of the season. Easley worked 2.1 innings of relief allowing four hits with three strikeouts and surrendered the lone run Pirate run in the eighth. Grant Sasser picked up his second save of the season setting down all five batters he faced in 1.2 innings and posting three strikeouts.

Ryan Williams (5-2) suffered the loss despite going seven full innings where he allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits with a walk. Jake Harris made his team-leading 15th appearance working the eighth, where he gave up a run (earned) on two hits with a walk. Andy Smithmyer gave up a hit and recorded an out in the ninth before passing the ball to Drew Reynolds, who recorded the final two outs of the contest.

The Pack extended its lead to four, 4-0, in the seventh on Brett Williams' double to left center scoring Brian Taylor from second base. Carlos Rodon singled up the middle to start the inning then was lifted for Taylor, who took second on Clyde's sac bunt back to the mound and cruised home on Brett Williams' second two-base hit of the contest.

Jake Armstrong's single up the middle in the eighth pushed the NC State lead to 5-0. With two outs, Tarran Senay doubled to right field and crossed home on Armstrong's lone hit.

ECU finally got on the board in the bottom half of the stanza cutting the lead to four, 5-1. Garrett Brooks, who pinch-hit for Chase McDonald, was hit by a pinch and moved to second on Luke Lowery's ground out back to mound. Reynolds followed with a single to center scoring Brooks. Bryan Bass continued the frame with a single to left field and Jack Reinheimer loaded the bases with another single to left.

After the Pack went to the pen and brought in the lefty Sasser, ECU made a change at the plate bringing Nick Thompson to hit for Dylan Brown. But Sasser got the best of Thompson retiring him looking for the second out. Cannon ended the inning when he grounded out to second.

Turner capped the scoring for NC State in the top of the ninth on a sac fly to right field that scored Ratledge and securing the win for the Pack, 6-1.

ECU had little to cheer about on the night offensively collecting just four hits and striking out 11 times, while NC State pounded out 10 hits.

The Pirates will return to Conference USA action this Friday when they play host to No. 21 Rice. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET).