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NC State tops Pitt 9-7 in back-and-forth affair

College World Series: NC State vs. UCLA Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

For the second time in as many nights, NC State used some late-game run production to best the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Wolfpack scored the go-ahead run in the seventh and scored some (very much necessary, it turned out) insurance runs in the ninth to carry the day.

The lead went back and forth between these teams throughout the early innings as the Wolfpack scored one run in each of the first four frames, and Pitt responded with five runs over that same span.

State trailed 5-4 heading into the sixth, where Devonte Brown provided a game-tying RBI single. In the seventh, Jonny Butler put State ahead for good with a solo shot to right field.

Protecting a one-run lead over multiple innings remains a nervy endeavor for the NC State bullpen, and the Pack wisely tacked on three runs in the ninth: one the result of a double steal that caught Pitt’s pitcher napping, and the other two thanks to Vojtech Mensik’s homer to right.

Rough play there, my guy. Rough play.

State would need the cushion, as Dalton Feeney and Evan Justice combined to walk the bases loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth. But after an RBI single plated one run, Justice induced a double play ball and struck out Sky Duff to wiggle out of the jam and clinch the series.

NC State has won three straight ACC series and will go for the sweep of the Panthers at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.