The Wolfpack baseball team needed extra innings - and a little help from some ocean wind - to top the Kent State Golden Flashes in the Baseball at the Beach Tournament/Free-for-All Friday afternoon in Myrtle Beach.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the 11th inning, NC State had men on 1st and 2nd with two outs when Patrick Bailey lifted a fly ball into shallow left field behind third base. The ball appeared to be headed for foul territory, but a stream of wind pushed the ball back into fair territory and beyond the reach of any Kent State fielders where it fell in for the game-winning hit, driving in Lawson McArthur from second base.
The win moves the Wolfpack to 5-0 on the young season, while the Golden Flashes fall to 0-4.
early going huge portion of the game was a pitchers duel between Kent State starting pitcher Connor Wollersheim (6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K) and NC State pitchers Jason Parker (4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) and Evan Justice (4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K). Wollersheim kept the Wolfpack hitless until the 6th inning, while four NC State pitchers didn’t allow an earned run on the day.
Kent State pushed across two unearned runs in the 3rd inning when Golden Flashes Josh Hollander reached on an error and Cam Touchette hit a single. The Kent State players came around to score on a sacrifice fly and a single to put NC State in an early hole.
It wouldn’t be until 6th inning when NC State would finally break through the hitless streak and put a dent into the Kent State lead. Devonte Brown led off the bottom of the inning with a double and scored on a Will Wilson RBI single. Wilson later tied the game in the bottom of the 8th inning when he led off NC State’s half of the frame with a solo home run that knotted the contest.
The Wolfpack had opportunities to score in both the 9th and 10th innings, but were unable to scrap together a run until the 11th when Bailey’s fly ball managed to find some grass in shallow left field.
McArthur scored the game-winning run, having reached on a walk. Dalton Feeney and Kent Klyman combined to pitch three scoreless innings of relief for NC State, with Klyman being credited with the win.
The Wolfpack take on Michigan State Saturday at 11:00am in Conway, SC, at Coastal Carolina’s Springs Brooks Stadium.