College sports are inherently bizarre, but when you eventually drill down to baseball, you reach another level of things that are nonsense. NC State started the season 5-1 in one-run games, generally blew a lot of teams out or handled business in the close-and-late situations.
It hasn’t been that way lately—NC State is 0-4 in one-run games since the start of the UNC series, and has an additional loss in extras to FSU. NC State lost another tight game on Thursday to UVA. That didn’t matter, and the tidy thing about baseball is its every-day-is-a-new-day aspect, which is trite yet true. They get to clean the slate and move on.
Don’t get me wrong—these losses matter. They matter to the NCAA selection committee, which is stuck judging baseball on wins and losses, as imperfect as that is. We have to live with the cold, stupid judgment of RPI, which is a particular comedy in baseball.
NC State can toss all of that crap aside on Friday night, and it can vault its recent and supposed slump into the nearest ocean by beating the Seminoles, but rankle as it does, winning is the only way to theoretically provide clarity.
No matter what happens, we can also live in the comfort that this is baseball, and close losses happen, and sometimes they happen in a bunch at an unfortunate time, and also this holds zero predictive value. You have to start over tomorrow, no matter what happens today. See, that’s why this is so much fun.