Well that’s better.
In a game that was a pitchers duel for the majority of the first five innings, NC State finally broke things open with a four-run 6th inning and held on late, squashing a Notre Dame 9th inning rally, to even the series with the Irish at a game apiece. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00pm.
Despite striking out the side in the first inning, NC State starter Reid Johnston wasn’t at the top of his game, exiting in the fourth inning; but he did only allow a single Notre Dame run in his 3.2 innings of work (6 H, 3 BB, 5 K). Evan Justice came on with a bases loaded situation in the 4th inning and got a pitch on one out to limit the damage. Justice (3-0) went on to get the win, retiring all seven batters he faced in the game.
The Wolfpack plated all four of their runs in the 6th inning with two outs. After the first two batters of the inning got out, the bottom of the order got things going for the Pack. J.T. Jarrett hit a line drive single into left field and Dillon Cooper followed with a walk. Back to the top of the order, Jonny Butler walked to load the bases for Tyler McDonough. After falling behind 1-2 in the count, McDonough laced a double into left-center to clear the bases and give State the 3-1 lead. Evan Edwards followed with a double of his own into right-center to score McDonough and push the Wolfpack advantage to 4-1.
Justice and Alec Barger combined to set down all six Notre Dame hitters in the 6th and 7th innings. After Barger issued a leadoff walk in the 8th inning, Nick Swiney came on to get a pop out and a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame.
State did have to sweat it out in the 9th, though. Swiney recorded a strikeout and a flyout around a walk, but then the trouble started. A bloop single, a line drive single, and a seeing-eye ground ball single cut the lead to 4-2. After a mound visit, Swiney got Niko Kavadas - Notre Dame’s best hitter - to hit a bouncer to Edwards at first, who flipped to Swiney at the bag for the final out of the game. The save is the first of Swiney’s NC State career.
Edwards led the Wolfpack offense with a 3-for-4 day, recording a pair of doubles and a walk while driving in a run. Terrell Tatum (1-for-3, 2 BB, SB), Jarrett (1-for-3, HBP, R), Cooper (1-for-3, BB, R), and Luca Tresh (1-for-4, BB) all reached base multiple times in the game.