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N. C. State Downs Coastal Carolina in Extra Innings for its 10th Straight Win

The Wolfpack only outscored their opponents by four runs in three games, but they came home from the Caravelle Resort's Baseball at the Beach event 3-0 on the weekend and 10-1 on the season.

Ryan Wilkins threw 5 1/3 no-hit innings to pick up back-to-back wins in relief for the Pack.
Ryan Wilkins threw 5 1/3 no-hit innings to pick up back-to-back wins in relief for the Pack.

For the second straight game, N. C. State needed extra innings to keep its win streak alive; behind the heroics of Trea Turner, the Wolfpack edged Coastal Carolina 5-4 in 10 innings to win their 10th straight.

Turner's fourth hit of the game plated Sam Morgan with what would hold up as the game-winning run in the 10th. Morgan walked with one out and advanced to second when Bryan Adametz was hit by a pitch before scoring on Turner's clutch single. Turner preserved the win for Ryan Wilkins, who gave the Pack (10-1) three and two third hitless innings of relief, by leaping to snare a line drive and doubling off the potential tying run at first base to end the game. (The runner at first got on thanks to a Turner error, but we will only mention that parenthetically.)

Wilkins and the Pack pen were called on to do yeomen's work after the team's starter was yanked after recording just one out for the second time in three games. Logan Jernigan loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter in the first. Grant Sasser limited the damage, allowing one run to score in relief of the Pack's talented but erratic right hander. Sasser ended up going three and two third shutout innings (at least as far as runs charged to him are concerned), and, after Travis Orwig got two outs in the fifth, the Pack pen's streak of innings without allowing an earned run peaked at 37 and a third.

The streak ended when Andrew Woeck spelled Orwig and allowed an inherited runner to score, cutting the Pack lead to 4-2. Woeck found more trouble in the seventh, putting runners on the corners with nobody out before being relieved by Will Gilbert, who predictably threw gasoline on the fire in just his second collegiate appearance. Why Elliot Avent didn't immediately go to Wilkins, who ended up having to come in and clean up the mess after Gilbert allowed both inherited runners to score, I have no idea.

The bottom of the order was strong for the Pack, starting with Jake Armstrong, who leaned into a pair of pitches and went 1-for-3 with a double. Though he is batting just .240, Armstrong leads the team in on base percentage (.548) thanks to drawing 12 walks and getting hit five times. Five of his six hits have gone for extra bases; it may be time for him to move up in the order.

Morgan, batting eighth, was 2-for-4 with a walk and scored twice. Adametz, batting ninth, had a hit in both of his official plate appearances and also walked. The Pack's two-through-six hitters combined to go 1-for-22. That included Carlos Rodon, who got the nod at DH but went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Avent had to wince when Rodon was hit by a pitch (and later thrown out at home trying to score from first on Armstrong's double) in the third. Between his three K performance and the HBP, the Rodon at DH experiment may be over. Rodon was one of four Pack players hit by a pitch (including Armstrong twice); it's probably safe to say that Chanticleer skipper Gary Gilmore is off Avent's Christmas card list. Gilmore was ejected in the eighth, presumably after the home dish umpire got tired of all the head hunting.

Jake Kane paced the Chanticleers, who are off to a disappointing 4-6 start, with three hits and two RBI.

The Pack have midweek games at Elon and at home against Campbell before hosting Clemson to open ACC play this weekend.