To paraphrase the great Lou Brown: Nice win, Pack. Don’t ever f***ing do it again!
NC Central came out and punched NC State in the mouth on Wednesday afternoon, taking Wolfpack pitchers deep three times in the first five innings to open up an 8-1 lead that seemed destined to send the Pack 9 to their first loss of the season. Then some crazy stuff happened.
The Wolfpack scored nine runs in the next four innings to take a 10-8 lead going into the bottom of the 9th with RS-SO RHP Dalton Feeney coming on to close things out. With Feeney, who hadn’t given up a run yet this year, coming on, it seemed like this one was finally over.
Nope. A combination of walks (1), hits (4), and errors (2) allowed the Eagles to tie the game. Only a great throw from SO RF Devonte Brown to JR C Brad Debo saved the game, with Brown gunning down the would-be winning run at the plate.
SO C/DH Patrick Bailey led off the top of the 10th with a solo home run to right field that gave NC State the lead back again. JR LHP Kent Klyman, who had come in to finish off the bottom of the 9th, was finally able to put the Eagles away to finish off the game and keep the Wolfpack undefeated, moving the Pack to 12-0.
There was just... I mean this was just... wow, what a freaking game.
Oddly enough, Central started their closer (hard-throwing SO RHP Austin Vernon), but pulled him after he struck out JR LF Jonny Butler to start the game, as was their plan heading into the game. Had they not done this, they might have been able to bring in Vernon to keep the Wolfpack bats in check enough to not complete the comeback.
JR SS Will Wilson had himself a huge game, going 4-for-6 with 3 2B, 1 R, and 4 RBI. SO LHP Evan Justice also deserves a big ‘attaboy’ for pitching through the 7th and 8th without allowing a baserunner (and striking out four batters) to keep Central off the scoreboard while the offense found its groove.
NC State opens up ACC play this weekend with a three game series against Pittsburgh in Raleigh, with the opener of that series scheduled for Friday at 3:00pm.