NC State did all their scoring on Tuesday night early, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the 3rd inning. From there, the Wolfpack held on for a 5-4 victory over East Carolina. The win snaps a three game skid for State while pushing ECU’s losing streak to four games.
The big Pack 3rd inning was started with back-to-back singles by Noah Soles and Gino Groover, with Soles taking third base on Groover’s hit. Cannon Peebles bounced an RBI groundout to third to push across the first run, and then State’s bats came to play from there.
Will Marcy and Trevor Candelaria each destroyed those respective pitches to push State out to a 4-0 lead. Carter Trice and Payton Green kept the inning going with back-to-back singles, with Trice taking third on Green’s hit. Green got in a rundown between 1st and 2nd, giving Trice just enough time to touch home plate before being tagged out.
That 5th run of State’s would loom large as the game progressed.
Wolfpack bats tallied 10 hits through four innings, but didn’t manage another hit in the game after that. East Carolina meanwhile notched single runs in both the 5th and 6th innings, before pushing two more runs across in the 7th to cut the State lead to a single run.
P.J. Labriola and Carson Kelly combined to pitch the final 2.1 innings of the game. Labriola (1.0 IP, H, 3 K) worked out of a two-on, two-out situation he inherited in the 7th and then allowed just a two-out single in the 8th. Kelly faced a bit more adversity in the 9th, issuing a hit-by-pitch and a walk to allow the tying and go-ahead runs to reach with one out. He escaped via a strikeout and a weak flyout to secure the win for State.
Sam Highfill got the start on the mound for the Wolfpack, going 4.0 shutout innings, allowing three hits, two walks, and a hit batter while striking out three. It wasn’t his most efficient outing, but he was effective and was able to come through with the big pitch when he needed it.
Noah Soles (2-for-4, R), Marcy (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI), and Carter Trice (2-for-3, 2B, R) each tallied multiple hits on the evening, while Peebles (1-for-2, RBI, BB) reached base safely multiple times.
Next up for State is a non-conference home series with The Citadel, starting this Friday at 6:00pm.