#25 North Carolina State Baseball 2020 Preview

North Carolina State Wolfpack
Overall Rank: #25
Conference Rank: #8 ACC
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North Carolina State has been a consistent NCAA Tournament participant. They have only missed out twice since 2003. Last season though their tournament trip was very brief. The Wolfpack went to the Greenville Regional and lost to Campbell and East Carolina. That was a disappointing way to end the season, but NC State will get another crack at it in 2020.
2019: 42-19, 18-12
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Elliott Avent
Key Departed Players:
Will Wilson, IF, .355 BA, 16 HR, 57 RBI
Evan Edwards, IF, .330 BA, 14 HR, 60 RBI
Jason Parker, P, 4.38 ERA, 4-4 W/L, 76.0 IP, 70 SO
Key Returning Players:
Tyler McDonough, IF/OF, .320 BA, 5 HR, 47 RBI, 10 SB
Patrick Bailey, C, .288 BA, 10 HR, 46 RBI
Jonny Butler, OF, .267 BA, 3 HR, 29 RBI
Brad Debo, C, .242 BA, 4 HR, 39 RBI
Reid Johnston, P, 3.71 ERA, 6-2 W/L, 77.2 IP, 65 SO
Nick Swiney, P, 4.61 ERA, 7-1 W/L, 56.2 IP, 95 SO
Dalton Feeney, P, 1.86 ERA, 1-1 W/L, 29.0 IP, 23 SO, 7 SV
The problem for the Wolfpack will be at the plate. You do not lose Will Wilson and Evan Edwards and get better. The good news is Patrick Bailey and Tyler McDonough are a couple of great pieces to build around. Bailey belted ten homeruns and drove in 46 RBIs last season. McDonough had a great freshman campaign, hitting .320 with five homeruns, 47 RBIs and ten stolen bases. If he can build on that Freshman All-American season, McDonough will help Wolfpack fans forget about Wilson and Edwards. NC State was very good on the mound last season, ranking fourth in the ACC in earned run average. And with most of their key pitchers back, this group is in great shape to be even better in 2020. Reid Johnston will be the ace of the staff again after going 6-2 with a 3.71 ERA last season. Nick Swiney spent most of last season coming out of the bullpen, but managed to lead the team with 95 strikeouts in 56.2 innings of work. Players like David Harrison, Cameron Cotter, Kent Klyman and Canaan Silver give Coach Avent plenty of proven options. And then there is closer Dalton Feeney. He recorded seven saves with a 1.86 ERA in 2019. Even if the lineup takes a small step back, the pitching staff will more than make up for it and lead North Carolina State to yet another NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament