NC State took both games of a Sunday season-opening double-header from Davidson, using a 10-run 5th inning in Game 1 to win 13-3 and scoring three runs in the bottom of the 7th in Game 2 to notch a 6-4 come-from-behind victory in a back-and-forth game.
The Wolfpack picked up an early lead in the first game, scoring runs in both the 1st and 2nd innings to stake a 2-0 lead, but Davidson plated a pair in the top of the 5th to tie it up. Both teams squandered bases-loaded, 0-out scenarios in the early going, but NC State did not squander their chances in the bottom of the 5th as they blew the game open with a 10-spot.
The Pack had 11 consecutive batters reach base safely without an out via 10 singles and two walks. Jonny Butler and Devonte Brown both reached base twice in the inning - Butler via a single and a walk, Brown with a pair of singles.
After that inning, the rest of the game was a matter of just reaching the finish line.
Butler (2-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB), Brown (3-5, R, 2 RBI), Austin Murr (2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB), Terrell Tatum (2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB), JT Jarrett (3-5, R, RBI), and Noah Soles (2-4, R, RBI, BB) each collected multiple hits on the day. Tyler McDonough, Luca Tresh, and Vojtech Mensik reached base on a walk and a single each.
For those keeping count at home, that’s every NC State starter reaching base multiple times in the game.
It was a bit of a bullpen game for the Pack. Evan Justice (1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K) got the start, and while he wasn’t his sharpest, he still got the job done. Reid Johnston (3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) got the win in relief as the first arm out of the bullpen. David Harrison (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) and Andrew Tillery (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K) followed Johnston, while Tristan Sipple (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K) and Coby Ingle (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K) made their Wolfpack debuts to finish things out.
The second game of the day was a much tighter affair, with goose eggs on the scoreboard until the bottom of the 4th. Luca Tresh broke open the scoring then with an absolute piss missle of a solo home run to left-center putting the Pack up 1-0. Davidson took the lead back in the top of the 5th on a two-run home run by Trevor Candelaria.
Jarrett led off the bottom of the 5th with a single and came around to tie the game on a Mensik RBI single. NC State then took the lead back in the bottom of the 6th as Butler, who had reached on a one-out single, scored on a passed ball (which was incorrectly ruled a wild pitch).
The Wildcats then retook the lead in the top of the 7th. NC State pulled Canaan Silver with two out and a man on first despite his effective pitching, and Baker Nelson allowed the inherited runner to immediately score on a Candalaria double. John Hosmer singled in the next at-bat to give Davidson the lead. After Nelson walked the bases loaded, NC State brought in Kent Klyman to shut things down. After getting ahead of the hitter 0-2, Davidson tried to steal home, but Klyman quickly stepped off and the play had no chance, resulting in an out and only the one-run deficit for the Pack.
In the bottom of the frame, NC State took the lead back again. Danny Carnazzo led off with a walk and moved to second on a Mensik sac bunt. Soles came in to pinch run for Carnazzo and moved to third on a wild pitch. Murr then cranked a 3-0 pitch into the right-center gap to tie the game. McDonough followed that up with a double of his own to give State the lead. After a Tresh walk, McDonough would steal third and subsequently score on a Butler fielder’s choice to give State the final margin of 6-4.
Tresh (2-3, HR, R, RBI, BB), Jarrett (2-4, 2B, R, SB), and Mensik (2-3, RBI, SacB, SB) each tallied multiple hits while Brown (1-3, BB, SB) also reached base twice.
Sam Highfill (5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) made his first career start and aside from one bad pitch, looked really good. Silver (1.2 IP, 1H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB 3 K) and Klyman (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) were excellent in relief with Klyman earning the win, the 15th of his Wolfpack career.
The next game for State will be Tuesday at 3:00pm when they host UNC-Greensboro, a team that took two of three from Elon to open their season this weekend.