Dillon Cooper laced a line-drive double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to plate the tying and go-ahead runs as NC State completed a five-run come-from-behind win to take its third consecutive ACC series. Josh McLain drove in Cooper, and Brett Kinneman followed with his 12th home run of the season to provide the Pack with some insurance runs, and they held on to top Georgia Tech 9-6.
Trailing 5-3, State did nearly all of its damage with two outs in the eighth. Patrick Bailey’s two-out single chased Tech reliever Andy Archer, who was replaced by normally reliable senior Jared Datoc, who entered with a 1.50 ERA in a team-high 10 appearances. But Datoc couldn’t find the zone against pinch hitter Shane Shepard, who coaxed a walk. Cooper, who went 2-for-4, drilled a Datoc offering to the right field corner to plate pinch runners Terrell Tatum and Lawson McArthur. McLain and Kinneman did their damage to make it a six-run frame.
The first run of the inning came courtesy of Evan Edwards, who kept State close. His three-run, opposite-field shot in the fifth pulled the Pack to within 5-3. He added a solo shot off Archer in the eighth to make it a one-run game.
Kent Klyman gave up a long but ultimately meaningless solo shot in the ninth but was otherwise excellent for the Pack. The lanky lefty fanned three in 2.1 innings to get the win and move to 2-0 on the season.
Brian Brown started and was tagged with five runs in 6.1 innings. All five runs were unearned thanks to three Pack errors (though an error charged to Will Wilson that extended Tech’s four-run fifth should’ve been ruled a hit; the replay showed the runner would’ve beaten the throw even had it been on time rather than in the dirt). Brown surrendered seven hits, walked a batter, hit a batter, balked, and struck out three in what was less than his best outing regardless of whether the runs dinged his ERA.
Edwards led the way for the Pack with a three-hit day that included his seventh and eighth long balls of the season. McLain, Kinneman, Bailey, and Cooper all had two-hit days.
State, which improved to 20-4, 7-2, hosts George Mason in a midweek affair Tuesday at 3 p.m. before embarking on a seven-game road swing with series at Virginia Tech and Louisville and a midweek game at UNC Wilmington.