Even after absorbing his first loss of the season March 15 at Florida State, junior righthander Logan Jernigan is still having a season worthy of All-America consideration for NC State.
Jernigan is 3-1 with a 1.55 ERA through five starts, and those numbers don’t do justice to how well he’s pitched. He was 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA heading into the Florida State series this past weekend, and despite struggling with his command against FSU — he walked five in 4 ⅓ innings — he still held the damage to a minimum, yielding three runs on three hits while striking out five. Head coach Elliott Avent yanked Jernigan after back-to-back one-out walks in the fifth, and the Wolfpack bullpen did the equivalent of throwing a drowning man an anvil by allowing both inherited runners to score.
Despite the loss to the No. 2-ranked Seminoles — they may be college baseball’s best and most complete team — Jernigan’s season still ranks as one of the best stories of the 2014 campaign. In five starts, he’s allowed 16 hits in 29 innings for an opponents’ batting average of .167. Opposing hitters are 2-for-36 (.056) against Jernigan with runners on base, 1-for-20 (.050) with runners in scoring position, 1-for-17 (.059) with runners on base and two out, and 1-for-13 (.077) with runners in scoring position and two out.
Ben DeLuzio’s solo homer leading off the bottom of the third inning for the Seminoles snapped Jernigan’s string of 23 consecutive scoreless innings.
Jernigan allowed three hits and walked three prior to the consecutive walks in the fifth inning at Tallahassee, and those were the first fifth-inning runs he allowed all season. Even with those runs crossing home, Jernigan’s ERA through the first five innings this year is still 1.93. He has yet to allow a run after the fifth inning in any game.
Jernigan has allowed more than one hit in an inning just once all season, and has faced 120 batters thus far without allowing back-to-back hits. He’s allowed back-to-back batters to reach base 11 times, but only three of those scored, two of them in Tallahassee after Jernigan had left the game.