NC State baseball clinched its place in ACC Tournament pool play with a 3-2 upset of No. 2 Louisville on Friday night at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The Wolfpack (31-19, 15-13 ACC) broke through in the third on a two-RBI triple by Logan Ratledge, sent off the top of the left field wall to score Bubby Riley and Jake Fincher. State improves to 21-0 when leading after three innings.
The Pack found an insurance run that proved to be the difference in the bottom sixth. Preston Palmeiro reached after being hit by pitch. Following back-to-back strikeouts, Joe Dunand singled up the middle to move Palmeiro to third with two away. During the final at-bat of the inning, Dunand broke for second. The throw down missed the mark, allowing Palmeiro to score the winning run.
Dunand and Riley finished with the Wolfpack's only multi-hit efforts, both going 2-for-4 with Riley scoring once.
Freshman starter Brian Brown (6-3) preserved that lead and captured the win with 5.1 innings of shut-out ball with two hits and four walks allowed, punching out seven, two shy of tying his career high. Will Gilbert neutralized Louisville (41-14, 24-5) for the next three frames, collecting two outs on the first pitch he threw for an inning-ending double play.
Gilbert's efficiency didn't stop there, as the junior retired his first five in only eight pitches, and mowed down all eight faced with nine outs through 24 throws.
With two on in the ninth, Gilbert handled the ball to Tommy DeJuneas. Gilbert finished the night with two earned on two hits and no walks, striking out four. DeJuneas fanned two in a row following a two-RBI single up the middle to finish the deed, his sixth save of the year.