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NC State walks-off Miami in extras, 5-4, advances to ACC title game

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Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Holy heckstairs, what the shootballs just happened? I saw it and I don't know. It was good, that's for certain. Preston Palmeiro hit a walk-off double/inside-the-park-HR/little-league-HR in the bottom of the 12th inning on Friday night to give NC State a 5-4 win over Miami and clinch a spot for the Wolfpack in the ACC title game.

Palmeiro smacked a ball off the left-field wall, and probably had himself a double even with a decent throw--except the throw from left was awful. So bad that it eluded the infield. Palmeiro had third easily, and he was waved home; the ball beat him to home plate by a wide margin, but Miami's catcher couldn't handle it. Palmeiro was safe, the Pack had an improbable win, and we were all confused/excited.

That's exactly it, ma'am. "Wooo I think this is good wait a minute I thought something was good for a second oh no hang on it really was good!" That's precisely this moment. Rafael Palmeiro was in Durham to watch the game, and even he could not believe that sequence.

Again, a walk-off double, except no one was on base. An error cost Miami two bags and the game. That is nuts.

State spent the entire night playing from behind; starter Cory Wilder had a rough--and brief--outing as the Hurricanes built a 2-0 lead over the first three innings. The Pack evened the score at two in the third only to watch Miami re-claim a two-run lead the next inning.

After that, NC State's pitching was fantastic, keeping the sheet clean over the next eight innings and allowing the offense to scratch the team back into the game. Jon Olczak and Tommy DeJuneas threw a combined 6-1/3 innings, striking out 12 while walking only two. DeJuneas handled all the work in extras.

State got one run back on a solo homer in the sixth, then tied things up at four on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the ninth. That set the stage for Palmeiro, who delivered in just about the most unimaginable way possible.