DURHAM, NC -- Duke scored six unanswered runs to rally past NC State, 7-4, Sunday at Jack Coombs Field and avert a series sweep.
With the loss, NCSU drops to 32-17 overall, 14-12 in ACC play. The Blue Devils improve to 21-29 on the campaign and 10-17 in the conference.
NC State scored first in the top of the 2nd inning. Josh Hood crossed home plate on J.T. Jarrett's single to left. Hood led off the frame with a single to centerfield. He advanced to second base on an errant pickoff attempt and then took third on a wild pitch.
The Wolfpack tacked on two runs in the next inning. Hood walked with the bases loaded to score Jacob Cozart. Dominic Pilolli's sacrifice fly then plated Devonte Brown.
Duke answered with a run in the bottom of the third, but NC State used hustle to respond. Noah Soles singled to start things. He then deftly took second base on a deep flyout to center. A wild pitch advanced him to third and Cozart's groundout to the right side brough him home to extend NCSU's advantage to 4-1.
The Blue Devils were not finished. Duke greeted reliever Garrett Payne with a double from Alex Stone followed by a single from Will Hoyle. Stone scored on a fielder's choice. Payne then recorded a strikeout and a pair of walks to push across another run before being pulled. Justin Lawson entered the game and Luke Storm hit a sacrifice fly to right, which brought home the tying run.
In the sixth inning Duke pushed across three more runs to take the lead for the first time in the contest. Two of the three runs were unearned. The Wolfpack had tying runs in the batter's box after the sixth, but the Blue Devils wiggled out of jams every time.
NC State returns to action Tuesday at home against UNCG in the Wolfpack's final non-conference contest of the regular season. NCSU hosts Wake Forest in a three-game set beginning Thursday to conclude ACC play before the conference tournament begins the following week.
Twitter: Follow @RobMcLamb on Twitter for updates on NC State Athletics!
Stay tuned to All-Wolfpack on SI for all the latest news for NC State. Follow us on Facebook (All-Wolfpack) as well as Twitter and Instagram (@NCStateonSI).