I feel like I’ve wrote this article before (I have, I swear), buuuuuut...
NC State found itself in a hole Saturday, trailing early, but some timely hitting and late dramatics delivered another win for the Wolfpack.
After Florida State jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, thanks to a 1st inning 2-run home run and a three-hit 2nd inning that plated two more runs, NC State mounted a quick comeback scoring four runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to tie the game. SR 1B Evan Edwards led off the inning with a walk, FR CF Tyler McDonough followed with a double, then with one out in the inning, SO RF Terrell Tatum hit a single to left field to cut the FSU lead to 4-2. With Tatum on the bases, SO 3B David Vazquez cranked a home run to left field to tie the game.
The Wolfpack took the lead the following inning on a McDonough single that scored JR SS Will Wilson, who had led off the inning with a single.
The lead wouldn’t last long, though, as Florida State struck back in the top of the 4th inning on an RBI double by SR 2B Mike Salvatore. In the 5th inning, FSU would re-take the lead thanks to impressive base running by JR CF/P J.C. Flowers and a fisted two-strike weakly hit grounder by FR SS Nander De Sedas that found a sliver of light to make it through the left side of the infield.
The game remained a 6-5 affair until the 8th inning. With one out and a man on 2nd in the top of the inning, FSU’s Salvatore hit a no-doubter of a home run to the flag poles in left centerfield to extend the Seminoles lead to 8-5, and putting NC State in danger of suffering their first loss of the season. But you’re here, you’re reading this, and you know that didn’t happen.
In the bottom of the frame, SO C Patrick Bailey led off with a walk, was replaced at first base by Edwards after Edwards grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice, and then McDonough walked to put two men aboard for JR DH Brad Debo. After NC State’s rally earlier in the game, FSU switched their approach on the mound to pitch almost all of the NC State hitters away. After falling behind 0-1 in the count, Debo adjusted his approach and took the 0-1 offering from FSU LHP Jonah Scolaro over the left field wall for an opposite field 3-run home run that tied the game at 8-8.
FSU threatened in the 9th, but was unable to push across a run, and thus the Wolfpack entered the bottom of the final frame in a tie ballgame and the heart of the order coming to bat.
SO PH Devonte Brown led off the inning with a walk. The Seminoles then brought in Flowers, the team’s closer, to pitch to NC State’s Wilson. On a full count, Wilson walked to put two men aboard with no outs. Flowers would get Bailey to pop out weakly to third base and then retire Edwards on strikes, although not before a wild pitch advanced Brown and Wilson to third base and second base, respectively. McDonough quickly fell behind 1-2 in the at-bat, but fouled off two pitches - as well as taking a ball - before bouncing a 2-2 pitch back up the middle for a single into center field that scored Brown from third base to walk-off the Wolfpack with the win.
The win improves the Wolfpack to 19-0 on the season and 5-0 in ACC play. The Seminoles dropped to 13-4 and 2-3.
McDonough led the way for the Wolfpack offensively on the day, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs scored, and two RBI. Debo (3), Tatum (2), and Vazquez (2) each drove in multiple runs on the day for NC State, while Edwards also scored twice on the day. RS-SO RHP Dalton Feeney got the win on the mound for the Pack - his first of the year - pitching a scoreless 9th inning.
FSU’s Salvatore (4-for-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI) and Drew Mendoza (1-for 2, HR, 3 BB, R, 2 RBI, SB) were constant thorns in the side of Wolfpack pitchers all game long.
NC State will go for the series sweep on Sunday, with first pitch slated for 1:00pm.