The NC State Baseball team started off the 2019 season in the best way possible: with a win. The Wolfpack made quick work of the Bucknell Bison, jumping out to a 5-1 lead through three innings and - despite nearly surrendering a grand slam in the ninth inning - cruised the rest of the way en route to an 8-2 win.
Senior first baseman Evan Edwards led the team on the day, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, triple, home run, three runs scored, three RBI, and he tacked on a walk for good measure. Edwards finished just a single shy of the cycle. Junior shortstop Will Wilson was the lone other Wolfpack player to accrue multiple hits on the day, putting forth a 2-for-4 effort with two doubles, a run scored, and a walk.
Junior pitcher Jason Parker received the start on the mound for the Wolfpack, and he did not disappoint in his debut in the red and white. Parker went five complete innings, allowing one run on four hits with zero walks and four strikeouts in earning the win. The right-hander looked sharp at times and was able to work himself out of the very few jams he found himself in.
Seven players made their Wolfpack debuts on Friday. In addition to Parker, junior Jonny Butler (0-4, 2 BB, 1 R) and freshman Tyler McDonough (0-2, 2 BB, RBI) received starts on the day. Butler started in left field while McDonough started in center field, before later receiving some time at second base. Freshmen Marek Chlup (1 PA, BB, R), Vojtech Mensik (1 PA, BB), Thayer Thomas (1-1, 1B, BB), and pitcher Baker Nelson (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER) all made their NC State debuts coming in off the bench.
One of the most interesting and promising developments of the game came in the form of redshirt-sophomore pitcher Dalton Feeney. Feeney pitched two innings of excellent baseball, not allowing a single base runner while striking out four batters. This was Feeney’s first appearance since he underwent Tommy John Surgery and missed all of the 2018 season. In the outing, he looked as sharp as - if not better than - he was prior to the injury. If Feeney’s health can hold up and he can contribute at this level, the pitching staff will have another top-end weapon at their disposal.
The series with Bucknell is slated to continue Saturday, with first pitch at 2:00pm. Sophomore left-hander Canaan Silver will be making the start on the mound in his NC State debut as the Wolfpack look to move to 2-0 on the young season. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.