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NC State averts disaster, holds on for 6-5 victory over Boston College

Wolfpack blows lead, retakes lead, holds on for win in series opener, James Guillory

Sometimes you need a little luck in baseball, and that’s what NC State got Friday afternoon in Chestnut Hill to take the first game of their series with Boston College, 6-5. With a two run lead, the bases loaded, and just one out, NC State used a fielder’s choice and a bit of luck to squeak out a one-run victory.

NC State JR RHP Jason Parker pitched excellently on the evening, departing the game with NC State leading 3-0 and one out in the 7th inning. A runner he was responsible for did end up scoring, but his final line was outstanding: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 4 K. It would take seven Wolfpack relievers to record the final eight outs of the game, though, and not before allowing Boston College to tie the game - and then almost allowing them to tie it again.

SO LHP Evan Justice (0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) was awarded the win while SO LHP Canaan Silver got the save after throwing just a single pitch and getting the final two outs of the game.

The final play was a bit wild. A soft liner was fielded on a hop by JR SS Will Wilson, who flipped to SO 2B David Vazquez for the force out at second base. Because the ball was a soft line drive, the runner who was at second base had to hold to make sure it wasn’t caught in the air. After Vazquez recorded the out at second base, he threw to FR 3B Vojtech Mensik at third base with his throw beating the runner, but due to the out at second base, there was no longer a force play at third. A run-down ensued and after a few exchanges of the ball between Wolfpack fielders, Mensik tagged out the runner for the final out of the game. The runner who was on third scored on the play, but that run was meaningless.

The Wolfpack were able to small-ball a run each in the 2nd and 3rd innings to get out to a 2-0 lead. Vazquez singled home JR DH Brad Debo in the 2nd and SR 1B Evan Edwards scored JR LF Jonny Butler on a groundout in the 3rd. That lead would be pushed to 3-0 in the 7th inning when Butler doubled home RS-JR RF Dillon Cooper, who had come on as a pinch runner for the starting RF, SO Devonte Brown.

Boston College cut the NC State lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th thanks to a trio of singles, an NC State error, and a sacrifice fly. The Eagles would tie the game in the 8th with a double and a triple.

NC State would retake the lead in the top of the 9th. Vazquez led off with a walk, Cooper reached on a bunt single, and Mensik drove home Vazquez with a double up the middle. SO C Patrick Bailey would single home Cooper, and Edwards would have another RBI groundout, this time scoring Mensik, to put NC State out to a 6-3 lead.

Butler (2-for-4, 2B, BB, R, RBI) and Bailey (2-for-5, RBI) each had multiple hits on the day, while Wilson (1-for-4, 3B, BB) and Debo (1-for-3, BB, R) reached base twice and Vazquez (1-for-2, 2 BB, R, RBI) reached base three times. Edwards (1-for-5, 2 RBI) was better than his final line indicated, with a trio of quality at-bats, and Mensik (1-for-3, 2B, SacB, R, RBI) also did well at the dish.

The Wolfpack and Eagles continue the series tomorrow at 2:00pm. SO RHP Reid Johnston will be on the mound for NC State.