NC State jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning on Tuesday night in Charlotte on the backs of a pair of two-run home runs, but Wolfpack pitchers would surrender three home runs to South Carolina in the bottom half of the opening frame to turn a lead into a 7-4 deficit that would ultimately come back to haunt them.
After that first inning, NC State pitchers kept the Gamecocks bats quiet until a hanging curve ball with two away in the bottom of the 9th provided the opportunity for South Carolina’s best power hitter to end the game with a single swing.
NC State was the better team on the day. They had more hits, fewer errors, and put themselves in better positions to score... but this is baseball, and the better team loses sometimes.
JR SS Will Wilson had a monster day, going 4-for-5 with one of the two-run home runs mentioned above. He scored a run and drove in three on the day. JR LF/RF Jonny Butler was 2-for-4 with two walks and two runs, while FR 3B Vojtech Mensik was 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. SR 1B Evan Edwards (1-for-4, BB, R) and FR LF Luca Tresh (1-for-2, BB) each reached base twice. Brad Debo had the other first inning two-run home run, and also drove in another run on a sacrifice fly.
SO LHP David Harrison (2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K), JR RHP Michael Bienlien (3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K), and SO LHP Nick Swiney (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) all pitched well in relief to keep NC State in a position to make a run that ultimately tied the game, even if the final outcome wasn’t a victory.
The Wolfpack drop to 27-3 overall heading into a road ACC series at Boston College, starting Friday. South Carolina improves to 18-11 overall.