North Carolina State recovered from a slow start last year once Trea Turner returned from an early season injury, eventually making the College World Series. Turner has been healthy this spring, but his offense also hadn’t clicking on all cylinders the way we’ve come to expect. Fortunately for the struggling Wolfpack, their star shortstop looks like he’s getting on track.
The ’Pack snapped a six-game losing streak with an 11-2 drubbing of UNC Wilmington on Wednesday night. Turner led the way, accounting for seven of the 11 runs as he scored two and drove in five. He staked NCSU to a 2-0 lead right off the bat with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning and added a three-run double in the sixth. The homer was Turner’s third in as many games and fourth in his last five.
NCSU improved to 15-8 with the win. The Seahawks were thought to be a borderline Top 25 team at the start of the year but have struggled themselves, and Wednesday’s loss dropped them below .500 to 11-12. Coming off back-to-back sweeps at the hands of Florida State and Maryland, the Wolfpack will face another slumping ACC team this weekend when Miami, which itself just fell from the Top 25, comes to Raleigh.
Top 25 Upset
• Winthrop’s Zach Sightler (5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R) and Josh Strong (3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R) pitched the Eagles to a 3-1 upset of No. 24 North Carolina. The Tar Heels, another struggling ACC outfit, have lost five of their last seven.
• Kansas State’s Ross Kivett hit for the cycle in a 12-6 win against Nebraska. Aaron Fitt was on hand and will have much more on Kivett in the coming days.
• No. 2 South Carolina put up yet another shutout, their 10th in 24 games. Evan Beal (4 IP, 0 H, 0 R) and three relievers combined on a one-hitter in a 4-0 whitewashing of Coastal Carolina on Wednesday in Columbia.
• Virginia scored four runs in the second inning and never looked back as the No. 3 Cavaliers knocked off Longwood 8-1. Freshman righty Alec Bettinger (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R) picked up his second win.
• Blake Trahan went 4-for-5 and scored three runs as No. 4 Louisiana-Lafayette pounded an overmatched Southern squad, which entered the night 4-12, by a 17-3 score. The game was actually tied 3-3 before the explosive Cajuns scored seven runs in the seventh and tacked on seven more in the eighth.
• Lamar upset Houston last week and put a scare into No. 10 Rice on Wednesday, but the Owls hung on to win 3-2 thanks to the work of Kevin McCanna (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 7 K) and Trevor Teykl (3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER). McCanna is a key piece who has struggled in the first half, so Wednesday’s performance was encouraging.
• No. 11 Oregon salvaged a split of its two-game midweek series at San Francisco with a 12-5 win. The Ducks scored five runs in the top of the first and cruised from there, while senior Brando Tessar (5 IP, 6 H, 3 R) picked up his first win of the year.
• Louisville broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the top of the seventh, then added an insurance run in the ninth to beat Western Kentucky 5-3. Cole Sturgeon and Grant Kay had two hits apiece to lead the No. 14 Cardinals.
• Two unearned runs in the sixth inning gave Kentucky a lead it would never relinquish as the No. 19 Wildcats beat Xavier 9-6. Seven different UK hitters had RBIs.