Between Dominic Fritton and Gino Groover, NC State pulled off quite the escape act against NC A&T on Tuesday afternoon.
Fritton entered a bases-loaded-with-nobody-out jam in the top of the ninth inning, then promptly struck out three straight Aggies hitters to preserve a 5-5 tie, and set up Gino Groover’s walk-off heroics in the bottom half.
This guy is CLUTCH #Pack9 | @groover_gino pic.twitter.com/Jrnk6JK2ZS— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) May 2, 2023
NC State hadn’t held a lead in the game until that ball cleared the fence. Hey, we’ll take ‘em however we can get ‘em.
Baker Nelson scuffled out of the gate, as A&T plated three first-inning runs on three hits, taking advantage of two hit batsmen. Carson Kelly spelled Nelson in the second and kept A&T off the board for a few frames as State got a couple runs back, but Kelly’s own control issues led to a two-run homer by the Aggies in the fifth.
It looked like it might just be A&T’s day, but Trevor Candelaria hit a two-run laser beam of a homer in the sixth, and Groover—who else—knocked home the game-tying run in the seventh.
That’s four wins in a row for the Pack, which has really backed itself into a corner heading into the last three ACC series of the season. Good news, at least, is they’re all winnable.