NC State players greet Chance Shepard after a game-winning home run against TCU (Aaron Fitt)


Top 25 Breakdowns: No. 10 NC State

Getting To Know The Wolfpack

NC State logo2015 Record: 36-23. RPI: 26.
Coach (Record at school): Elliott Avent (717-444, 19 years).
Ballpark: Doak Field at Dail Park (Capacity: 3,000).
Postseason History: 27 regionals (active streak: 1), 2 CWS trips (last in 2013), 0 national title.
Five-Minute Focus on the Wolfpack.
More: Fall Report on Oklahoma State | Season Preview Index

NC State's Projected Lineup

CAndrew Knizner, Jr..317/.360/.4265420
1BPreston Palmeiro, Jr..305/.381/.4567492
2BRyne Willard, Sr..287/.363/.4114203
3BXavier LeGrant, Fr.HS—Charlotte
SSJoe Dunand, So..219/.289/.3817401
LFBrock Deatherage, So..291/.383/.3831117
CFJosh McLain, So..186/.234/.209031
RFShane Shepard, So..160/.323/.240110
DHChance Shepard, Sr..214/.342/.4496231
LHPBrian Brown, So.7-32.0379.278260
RHPJohnny Piedmonte, Jr.1-23.2649.240140
RHPJoe O'Donnell, Jr.7-32.085254200
RPTommy DeJuneas, So.3-31.8239.257256

Hitting: 55

NC State's Preston Palmeiro (Aaron Fitt)NC State’s Preston Palmeiro (Aaron Fitt)

The Wolfpack will unquestionably miss Logan Ratledge, who led the team in just about every meaningful offensive category last year while also playing a strong shortstop and providing leadership in the clubhouse. Last year, NC State ranked just 174th in the nation in batting and 89th in scoring, and now they must make do without Ratledge and fellow departed stalwart Jake Fincher. In 2016, Knizner, Palmeiro and Dunand will have to carry the load for the offense, but all three are talented enough to produce big seasons. Knizner is a line-drive machine who has hit since he’s been on campus, and Palmeiro (son of Rafael) has a pretty lefthanded stroke and good control of the strike zone. Dunand also has good bloodlines (he is the nephew of Alex Rodriguez) and looks primed for a breakout year after spending the offseason learning to drive the ball to all fields. The scrappy McLain also had a strong fall and has the tool set to serve as a catalyst atop the lineup, while Deatherage also has a chance to be a disruptive force if he can hit the ball on the ground more consistently and put his speed to work. Willard is a nice veteran line-drive hitter, and LeGrant has true star potential and the polish to make a big impact right away. Up and down the lineup, NC State can really hit the fastball, but several starters must prove they can handle quality offspeed stuff.


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