Ah, baseball. Harsh mistress one week, a bearer of gifts the next. It was a wild but very good week for NC State, which won three consecutive games via walk-off, including the first two games of the Boston College series.
In the series-opener on Thursday, State got five strong innings of work from Logan Whitaker, who struck out seven BC batters. The Wolfpack took a 3-1 lead into the sixth where the Eagles tied the game on a two-run single.
In the ninth, NC State loaded the bases with a hit, a walk, and a fielding error. That set up Devonte Brown’s sac fly heroics:
DEVO WALK OFF!!! WOLFPACK WINS!!! pic.twitter.com/prH03egKyP— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) April 15, 2022
Chris Villaman threw four pitches and recorded one out in the top half of the inning, and got the win. That’s good work when you can get it. He’d have to earn the next one, though.
Game two saw BC seemingly take full control with a five-run sixth inning that pushed its lead to 6-0. Then the Eagles self-destructed in the seventh. NC State collected five hits in the seventh to draw closer, but BC still gets out of that frame with the lead without its own self-inflicted wounds: three walks, a wild pitch, and a plunking of JT Jarrett with the bases loaded that tied things up. Whoopsies!
Villaman entered in the eighth and was absolutely light’s out for what turned out to be an extended relief effort. The game went to the 11th, and he took the Pack all the way home, striking out nine over four innings while allowing just one hit.
In the bottom of the 11th, NC State loaded the bases with nobody out, though Boston College almost wiggled its way out of that jam. But there was a lot of stress on that BC defense, and, well:
CARDIAC PACK WITH ANOTHER WALK OFF WIN!!! pic.twitter.com/SgvWrNE1ga— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) April 15, 2022
Hey, it counts all the same.
The series finale was a bit lighter on the drama, which was fine by me. Canaan Silver and Logan Adams combined to limit BC to three runs, though State had to rally from an early 2-1 deficit and then hold off a ninth-inning BC rally to win the game 6-3.
After all that, the Pack is 23-11 (10-7) and sits second in the Atlantic. State travels to first-place Louisville next weekend.