NC State baseball cruised to an easy 14-2 win Saturday versus Bucknell to clinch 2019’s season-opening series. The Wolfpack scored runs in seven of the eight innings they went up to bat, including multiple runs scored in six of those innings.
Five Wolfpack hitters tallied multiple hits on the day. Juniors LF Jonny Butler (2-for-4, 2B, 3B, HBP, 2 R, 2 RBI) and SS Will Wilson (2-for-3, HR, BB, 2 R, 3 RBI) got things going for State in the bottom of the first when Butler led off with a triple and came in to score on a high fly ball home run by Wilson. From there the Pack never trailed and were never challenged by the Bison.
Freshman 3B Vojtech Mensik (2-4, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI) was the other Pack starter to collect multiple hits. Sophomore DH Terrell Tatum (2-3, R) and Freshman CF Tyler McDonough (2-3, R, RBI) came off the bench to also tally multiple hits. Sophomore C Patrick Bailey was 1-3 with a triple, walk, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBI. Sophomore 2B David Vazquez and Junior RF Lawson McArthur each collected a pair of walks. McArthur, who came in the game in relief of starting Freshman CF Thayer Thomas, was also hit by a pitch.
As good as the Wolfpack hitters were on the day, they were aided significantly by defensive miscues and mental errors by the Bucknell defenders. The Bison defense was charged with five errors on the day, which didn’t include a few flyball misreads and miscommunications which allowed Wolfpack players to be credited with hits that probably shouldn’t have been. Bison pitchers also surrendered ten free passes between walks (7) and hit-by-pitches (3).
All three NC State pitchers on the day were making their Wolfpack debuts. Sophomore LHP Canaan Silver (4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) earned the start and was decent in his time on the mound, while fellow JUCO transfer Junior RHP Alec Barger was fantastic in relief, going three scoreless innings while surrendering just a single hit and striking out one batter in earning the win. Redshirt-freshman RHP Cameron Cotter pitched the last two innings without allowing a hit. Cotter surrendered one walk while striking out a pair of Bison batters.
The series finale will be Sunday at 11:00am (the game time was moved up in an effort to beat inclement weather forecasted for later in the day). Sophomore LHP Nick Swiney will be on the mound for the Wolfpack. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.