The Wolfpack baseball team took both games of their Saturday double-header against Tennessee Tech by scores of 8-2 and 10-3. With the wins, NC State improves to 6-0 on the year. The final game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00pm.
Snow in Raleigh on Thursday postponed the Friday game and forced the two Saturday games.
Tennessee Tech struck first in the top of the first of each games. In the first game, a walk, a wild pitch, and a single put the Golden Eagles on the board first. A Patrick Bailey solo home run in the bottom of the 1st tied things up.
In the 2nd, Jonny Butler led off the inning with a walk and stole both second and third bases, eventually scoring on a J.T. Jarrett RBI groundout.
TTU tied things up on a leadoff solo home run by Brett Roberts to start the 3rd inning. That would finish off the scoring for the game for the Golden Eagles as Nick Swiney and Baker Nelson combined to shut down the normally potent Tennessee Tech bats from there. It was the second straight game for Swiney (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K) where he struck out 11 batters, giving him 22 total strikeouts in 13.0 IP this year. Nelson (3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) earned the technical save, his first of the year.
NC State took the lead for good in the 4th inning. Devonte Brown led off the bottom of the frame with a solo home run, putting the Pack in front with what proved to be the game-winning RBI.
Vojtech Mensik hit a two-run home run later in the inning, scoring J.T. Jarrett, who reached base via a walk.
Brown would push another run across in the 5th on a sacrifice fly, scoring Tyler McDonough, who had reached on a lead-off single.
Bailey tallied another RBI in the 7th. Austin Murr walked to lead off for the Pack, advanced to third on a McDonough single, and scored on Bailey’s single. Mensik capped the scoring in the 8th on his second home run of the day.
Mensik (3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Bailey (2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI), McDonough (2-5, R), and Brown (1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, SF) led the way at the plate. Butler recorded three stolen bases on the day, while Jose Torres recorded two.
Roberts (2-4, HR, R, RBI) and Gavin Johns (2-4, 2B, RBI) accounted for four of the five TTU hits for the game.
Game Two started with a similar feel to Game One with Tennessee Tech jumping out to an early lead. Roberts led off the game with a solo home run off NC State starter Reid Johnston. Bailey would again provide the answering RBI in the first inning of the game, this time plating Murr on a sacrifice fly. Murr had doubled to lead off State’s half of the inning and advanced to third on a fly out by McDonough.
Unlike the first game where State slowly pulled away, the Wolfpack blasted to a big lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning in the second game. With one out, Torres and McDonough singled around a Murr hit-by-pitch. With the bases loaded, Bailey needed to see just one pitch.
B3 | Like we said, PATTY BARRELS IS BACK!! After two singles and a hit-by-pitch loads the bases on one out, Bailey goes yard for a ℝ ℕ .— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) February 22, 2020
https://t.co/RyqO6oQeOP#Pack9 5, TTU 1 pic.twitter.com/raqcPbiHUQ
After the Bailey blast, Brown singled and stole second base. Butler followed that up with a double to plate Brown and give the pack a five run lead.
Jason Hinchman would lead off the top of the 4th inning for Tennessee Tech with his 6th home run of the year, a solo shot to left, cutting the lead to 6-2. Sam Highfill would come in for State in the middle of the inning, but no more runs would cross the plate in the frame for the Golden Eagles.
State would get the run back quickly in the bottom half of the inning when a leprechaun sighting took place.
Torres would also score in the inning. He followed Jarrett’s home run with a single, moved up on a Murr double, and scored on an RBI groundout by McDonough, making the score 8-2.
Roberts (single) and Hinchman (RBI double) teamed up in the 5th to plate another run for TTU. It would be their last of the day, though, as Highfill (4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) was overall great in relief, earning his second win of the year. Andrew Tillery would make his season debut, tossing a scoreless inning and striking out two for the Pack. All told, Johnston (3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K), Highfill, and Tillery would strike out a combined 15 Golden Eagles hitters in the game. Combined with Swiney and Baker’s performance in game one, State pitchers racked up 28 K’s on the day.
State tacked on additional runs in the 6th and 8th to bring the final tally to 10-3. Brad Debo doubled in the 6th and scored two batters later on a Murr double. In the 8th, Mensik reached on an error, stole second base, moved to third on a balk, and scored on a Jarrett single.
Murr (3-4, 3 2B, 2 R, RBI, HBP) paced all hitters, while Jarrett (2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) and Torres (2-4, 2 R) provided great production from the 8- and 9-hole spots in the order.
Hinchman (3-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI) and Roberts (2-5, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB) led the way for Tennessee Tech.
Surprisingly, there as not a single walk issued in the game by either team.