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NC State takes first game from Wake Forest, 8-5

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at North Carolina Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

NC State never trailed on Friday night, but Wake Forest applied plenty of pressure. The Wolfpack scored the first five runs of the game, the Deacs nabbed the next five to tie, and State added three late to take it.

Oddly enough, the game-winning run was scored on a balk. That happened in the sixth. Also oddly, Wake Forest got its first run on a balk, which came in the fifth. In the latter case, NC State catcher Patrick Bailey and starting pitcher Reid Johnston got crossed up. It’s not a thing you see often, but it’s what can happen when the pitches are called from the bench—which in college they almost always are.

Anyway, no matter. After State re-took the lead in the sixth on the other balk of the evening, Will Wilson padded that lead with a pair of RBIs over the next couple of innings. Kent Klyman settled things down and earned the win with 3-2/3rds of shutout pitching. He’s done for the weekend (49 pitches) but he secured a critical game for the Wolfpack

Brett Kinneman got the scoring started with a monster three-run shot to the opposite field in the first inning:

That set the tone for the evening, but give Wake credit, it rallied back to tie the game after falling behind 5-0. The Deacs have to find as many wins as they can after a dreadful non-conference performance, and they definitely look like an NCAA tournament team, even if they are doomed to miss it.

The RPI will say otherwise, but this is a good win; and State needs this series. Brian Brown gets the ball on Saturday.