NC State powers past Pitt 8-3 for berth in ACC title game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Devonte Brown, Tommy White and Dominic Pilolli all hit home runs in a five-run first inning to spark 10th-seeded N.C. State to an 8-3 victory over No. 11 seed Pittsburgh in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Saturday.

The victory sends the Wolf Pack (36-20) to Sunday’s championship game against No. 8 seed North Carolina.

Brown homered on a 1-2 pitch to lead off the bottom of the first for N.C. State. White homered with one out to make it 2-0. Josh Hood walked and took third on a double by Noah Soles. J.T. Jarrett drove in Hood with a ground out, Pilolli followed with a two-run shot and the Wolf Pack never looked back.

Pitt (29-27) cut the deficit to 5-2 in the top of the fourth on Brock Franks’ two-out, two-run single. But N.C. State answered with three runs in its half of the inning. LuJames Groover III drove in the first one with a sacrifice fly and a throwing error on a single by Soles led to Brown and Jacob Cozart scoring unearned runs.

Ron Washington Jr. hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Panthers’ final run.

Chris Villaman took the mound in the ninth for N.C. State and promptly walked Bryce Hulett and Washington. But Villaman bounced back to strike out Jac Anderson and CJ Funk on six pitches before fanning Franks on a full count to end the game.

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