I could say I’m surprised about NC State’s comeback victory over Miami on Sunday afternoon, but that’d be a lie. The Wolfpack’s ability to get late-game offense in clutch situations is a well-established theme at this point, and it was on display yet again in Coral Gables.
NC State went into the ninth inning down 4-2 and promptly batted around, scoring four runs in the process, turning defeat into yet another victory. David Vazquez got things started by reaching on an error by Miami’s shortstop, then came around to score on a Lawson McArthur double that was mishandled. Hurricanes miscues aided the Wolfpack rally considerably.
The Pack evened the score on a Johnny Butler single that scored McArthur and pinch-runner JT Jarrett scored the go-ahead run on the third Miami error of the frame, this one a botched fielding attempt on a Will Wilson grounder to third. A bases-loaded walk accounted for State’s fourth run of the ninth.
Miami got its leadoff man on in the bottom half but Michael Bienlien induced a ground ball double-play from the next hitter, then ended the game with a striekout. Bienlien, who was the sixth State pitcher to take the mound, got credit for the win.
The late offense erased a shaky start by Andrew Blake, who allowed a run on three hits in 1-1/3 innings, as well as some questionable bullpen management by Elliott Avent, which allowed the Canes to take a 4-2 lead in the eighth.
But no matter, the offense was there again to make the mistakes of the day disappear. NC State is 23-1 now and 8-1 in the ACC, with a pair of series sweeps. These guys are good.