Due to inclement weather on Friday postponing the opening game of a three-game series versus Minnesota, the NC State baseball team hosted a double-header Satruday versus the Golden Gophers, emerging victorious in both games to remain unbeaten on the year at 10-0.
In the first game of the twin billing, the Wolfpack used four consecutive 4th inning hits to jump out to a 3-0 lead and held on to win 3-2. In the second game, the Pack Nine posted a six-spot in the 1st inning in cruising to an 8-4 win that wasn’t really that close of a game.
The two teams are scheduled to finish the series Sunday, with the game set to begin at noon, barring any more heavy rain.
With one away in the bottom of the 4th inning of the first game, FR 3B Vojtech Mensik reached base on an infield single deep in the hole between shortstop and third base. After Mensik stole second base, JR DH Brad Debo and SO 2B J.T. Jarrett hit back-to-back doubles off the left field wall to make the score 2-0 Wolfpack. JR LF Jonny Butler followed with a single back up the middle into center field to score Jarrett and stake the Pack to a 3-0 lead.
All of the NC State runs came against Golden Gophers ace starter Patrick Fredrickson.
Minnesota would put up one run on an RBI double in the top of the 6th, and tack on an additional run via a lead-off solo home run in the 7th, but RS-SO RHP Dalton Feeney was able to record the last seven outs of the game without issue to earn the save and lock down the win for NC State.
Wolfpack starter JR RHP Jason Parker (5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) pitched his best game of the season, setting opposing hitters down with ease until running into trouble in the sixth and giving way to JR LHP Kent Klyman. Klyman (1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 2 K) wasn’t at his best, but did enough to maintain the NC State lead before Feeney (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) came in for the save, his second of the year.
Debo (2-for-3, 2B, BB, R, RBI), Mensik (1-for-2, HBP, R, SB), and SO C Patrick Bailey (0-2, 2 BB) were the only NC State hitters to reach base safely multiple times in the game.
Minnesota took an early 1-0 lead in the second game of the double-header, scoring in the top of the 1st on a two-out double by SR 1B/C Cole McDevitt. McDevitt was a pain in the side for the Wolfpack all day, going a combined 3-for-7 across both games, with those three hits being a double (2nd game) and two home runs (a solo shot in each game).
NC State would need only one out in the bottom half of the 1st inning to take the lead, a lead they would not surrender the rest of the way. Butler led off with a single and advanced to second on a Will Wilson groundout. SR 1B Evan Edwards and Bailey both walked to load the bases. FR CF Tyler McDonough staked the Wolfpack to the lead with a two-RBI single up the middle to score Butler and Edwards. SO RF Terrell Tatum singled to again load the bases, which Mensik promptly cleared with his first career home run - a grand slam over the left field wall which both gave the Pack a 6-0 lead and chased Minnesota starting pitcher Sam Thoresen from the game.
The Wolfpack went on to add additional runs in the 4th inning (Debo solo home run) and the 8th inning (Mensik RBI sacrifice fly to score McDonough). Debo’s 4th inning solo home run came against the Golden Gopher’s all-everything reliever, Max Meyer; although Meyer (4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) was pretty downright dominant otherwise. Minnesota also added a run in the 4th inning (McDevitt solo home run), and pushed across two runs with two out in the 9th (double by FR 2B Zack Raabe) to get to the game’s final of 8-4.
NC State starting pitcher SO LHP Canaan Silver (6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) earned the win, pitching very well after the first inning, including setting down each of the last eight hitters he faced in the game. FR RHP Baker Nelson (2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) followed Silver on the mound and threw two solid innings of shutout ball. JR RHP Andrew Blake finished the game off for State, allowing the two runs (both earned) in the 9th.
Debo (1-for-3, HR, BB, R, RBI), Edwards (1-for-3, BB, R), and McDonough (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) were the only NC State hitters to reach base safely multiple times in the second game, although Mensik (1-for-3, HR, SF, R, 5 RBI) drove in over half of the Pack’s runs on his grand slam and sac fly.