In a game that was a pitchers duel for the majority of the contest, it was the NC State bats that were able to break through to eliminate the goose egg on the scoreboard and take home the victory. With the road win in tow, the Wolfpack move to 4-0 on the young season.
With the game knotted 0-0 after five complete innings, JR SS Will Wilson broke the tie in the top of the 6th inning. The preseason All-American took a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run to lead off the inning, his second home run of the season.
The Pack9 were able to get to the Elon bullpen and extend their lead in 8th inning thanks to an Evan Edwards double that plated JR OF Johnny Butler and Wilson, making it a 3-0 ballgame. Butler, Wilson, and SO C Patrick Bailey had all walked to load the bases for the Senior first baseman. Edwards came around later in the frame to score on a passed ball that would push the NC State lead to 4-0.
NC State added their fifth and final run of the evening in the top of the 9th when FR 3B Vojtech Mensik scored. Mensik reached on a walk, stole second base, moved to third on a groundout, and then scored on a passed ball.
The Wolfpack managed only four hits on the day, but three of those went for extra bases. In addition to Wilson’s home run and Edwards’ two-RBI double, Bailey hit a double in the 1st inning. FR DH Marek Chlup accounted for the only other NC State hit of the game, a 2nd inning single.
Four pitchers combined on the shutout tossed by the Wolfpack pitching staff. JR RHP Michael Bienlien (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 K) got the start on the mound and was followed by FR RHP Baker Nelson (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K), SO LHP Evan Justice (2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K), and JR RHP Mathieu Gauthier (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K). The Wolfpack pitchers also had no wild pitches or hit batters in the game. Justice was credited with the win.
Nelson pulled the Pack9 out of a dire situation in the bottom of the 3rd inning. With Elon runners on first and second base and one out, Nelson entered the game in relief of Bienlien with a 2-0 count on the hitter. After walking the hitter to load the bases with still only one away, Nelson induced a popout behind home plate and a groundout to second base to escape the jam without allowing a run, keeping the game scoreless at the time.
Elon Sophomore left-hander Jared Wetherbee (5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) was excellent for the Phoenix, keeping the Wolfpack hitters off balance and off the board for the first five innings of the game until surrendering the solo home run to Wilson in the 6th.
Sophomore Jack Roberts (2-for-3, 2B) and Freshman Anthony Galason (2-for-5) each collected multiple hits on the day for Elon.
NC State travels to Myrtle Beach, S.C., this weekend to take part in the Baseball at the Beach Tournament. The tournament is hosted by Coastal Carolina, the Wolfpack’s Sunday opponent. The Pack9 will face Kent State on Friday at 2:00pm at TicketReturn.com Field, minor league home of Kenny Powers and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.