Devonte Brown was just about all the offense NC State needed on Friday night in the Wolfpack’s series opening win over Georgia Tech, while Logan Adams and Chris Villaman combined to toss five innings of scoreless relief in the 8-6 victory. Brown went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, three runs scored, and three runs driven in.
Wolfpack starter Sam Highfill started off the game well enough, looking sharp in the 1st inning by setting down the Yellow Jackets in order. The rest of his outing, though, did not go as well. He walked in a run in the 2nd, pitched a scoreless 3rd despite a couple long drives by Tech, and then allowed a five-spot in the 4th with the aid of some poor defense.
That Tech 4th inning should have ended with just a single run across the plate, but Jacob Cozart dropped a dime of a throw from Will Marcy.
I mean, look at that thing! As textbook as textbook gets! Shuffles his feet before fielding to get his weight correct, no wasted steps in the motion, the throw through the cutoff man’s head to keep the batter from going to 2nd, and a long one-hopper right to the catcher for an easy grab and tag. That’s the type of throw that gets baseball angels their wings!
Because this is NC State Baseball in 2022, the baseball gods later smote us by having Marcy drop a can-of-corn would-be game-ending flyball in the 9th, but thankfully Villaman picked him up with a three-pitch strikeout to secure the victory.
Anyways, Tech’s five-run 4th inning would be the last time they crossed the plate. Adams (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) earned the win, working out of the only jam he found himself in in the 6th and with a little more help from Marcy on a well-played double in the 7th to keep the Jackets from pushing across another run. Villaman (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K) came on for the save, never allowing Tech to threaten.
On the offensive side, well... Devonte Brown, ladies and gentlemen:
DEVO DOUBLE to bring in the go ahead run! pic.twitter.com/7S2e8RatUf— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) March 26, 2022
Devo was there every time the Pack needed him.
Between those two hits, Brown had an RBI single in the midst of the Wolfpack’s own five-run 4th inning. State used the help of a pair of Tech errors in the inning to erase the short-lived hole they found themselves in. The Wolfpack scored runs in the inning on a Payton Green single, Brown’s single, a Josh Hood fielder’s choice and error, and a Tommy White double.
State’s final run of the game came courtesy of a Gino Groover single that drove in Brown following his above-referenced go-ahead double.
Groover was impossible for Tech pitchers to retire on the evening, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a trio of singles, while working walks in his other two plate appearances. Hood (1-for-4, R, RBI, BB) and White (1-for-4, RBI, BB) were the only other State hitters to reach base safely multiple times in the game. Green scored twice in addition to his RBI.
The second game of the series will again be under the lights of The Doak with a 7:00pm first pitch on the ACC Network. Matt Willadsen will be on the mound for State, with Tech sending freshman lefty Cody Carwile to the bump for his first career start.