NC State fell behind early, pulled ahead in the middle innings, then extended their lead in the latter stages of the game. This isn’t anything new; however, this game saw the opponent mount a strong comeback that almost spelled doom for the Wolfpack. In the end, NC State held on for a 7-6 victory to secure their series win over Miami.
The win improves NC State to 22-1 (7-1) on the season, while Miami drops to 15-8 (3-5). The final game of the series is slated for Sunday at 1:00pm.
Miami jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning. Leadoff hitter FR CF Jordan Lala reached on a bloop single, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, then scored on a 5-3 groundout by FR DH Adrian Del Castillo to put the Hurricanes ahead early.
That lead would hold until the 4th inning when NC State would plate three runs on an Evan Edwards home run. JR LF Jonny Butler led off the inning with a single and advanced to second base on an error by Miami’s catcher. With one away, SO C Patrick Bailey singled to put men on the corners, although it didn’t really matter what bases the runners were on because SR 1B Edwards cleared the fence - and the palm trees behind it - with his massive three-run homer to give State the lead. The home run was Edward’s team-leading 7th of the year.
In the 6th inning, the Wolfpack extended their lead to 5-1. JR SS Will Wilson and Bailey hit back-to-back one-out singles to put a pair of runners on. With two away, FR CF Tyler McDonough hit a line drive into left field to plate Wilson. With the throw from left field going to the plate, McDonough advanced to second; however, the Miami catcher’s errant attempt to throw out McDonough at second base caromed into centerfield, allowing Bailey to score from third base and push NC State out to a four-run lead.
Miami would get one run back in the bottom of the 6th. With runners on the corners and one out, the Hurricanes attempted a double steal on a swinging strikeout, with both runners being safe, including Lala at home. The run made it a 5-2 ball game.
JR DH Brad Debo would double in Edwards in the 8th inning and Wilson would hit a solo shot, his 6th home run of the season, in the top of the 9th inning to push NC State’s lead out to 7-2 heading into bottom half of the final frame. In the 8th, Edwards reached on a walk and moved to third on a McDonough single before coming home to score on Debo’s line drive off the left field wall.
The bottom of the 9th started off great for NC State. SO LHP Nick Swiney recorded strikeouts of the first two Miami hitters; however, the out pitch on the second of those strikeouts was a wild pitch that allowed the batter to reach base. Miami RS-SO C Michael Amditis then blasted a high fastball from Swiney over the left field wall for a two-run home run to cut the lead to 7-4. Swiney would allow the next batter to reach base before he gave way to NC State’s closer, RS-SO RHP Dalton Feeney.
Miami countered with a pinch hitter, and FR J.P. Gates took Feeney out of the yard to right-center field to cut the margin to 7-6. Feeney would get a groundout from Lala before Miami SO SS Freddy Zamora reached on a single, bringing the winning run to the plate for the Hurricanes with two outs. Thankfully for the Wolfpack, Del Castillo rolled over on a Feeney pitch resulting in a weak chopper to first base which Edwards snagged and stepped on the bag for the final out.
NC State had four hitters reach base multiple times in the game: Wilson (2-for-4, HR, BB, 2 R, RBI), Bailey (2-for-5, 2 R), Edwards (1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 R, 3 RBI), and McDonough (2-for-4, RBI). On the mound, SO RHP Reid Johnston (5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) had his longest outing of the season in recording the win. Swiney pitched well for the Pack until running into trouble in the 9th inning. Feeney secured his 6th save of the season and second of the series.
Four Miami hitters registered multiple hits on the day: Lala (2-for-4, HBP, 2 R, 3 SB), Del Castillo (2-for-5, RBI, SB), Amditis (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI), and FR 2B Anthony Vilar (2-for-4, 2B, R).
The Wolfpack will be going for their second ACC series sweep of the season in the finale Sunday.