Cannon Peebles delivered an RBI single with one out in the top of the 11th inning to give NC State an 8-7 lead on Duke, and ultimately, the win. The Wolfpack didn’t make this one easy, because why would they, but prevailed anyway.
State jumped on Duke’s pitching early, getting a first-inning two-run shot to left by Gino Groover to get the offense started. The Pack built a 7-1 lead over the first three innings, and then the bats went quiet as the Blue Devils chipped away for the rest of the night.
NC State still held a 7-5 advantage in the bottom of the ninth and sat two outs from victory before MJ Metz knotted the score with a two-run homer to right field. That was just a bit of a gut punch, though the Pack quickly put it behind them to threaten with runners at the corners in the 10th. That rally faltered, but thankfully Peebles was able to come through in the next inning.
Logan Whitaker pitched the 10th and 11th to close it out. This game going extras was costly for the fact that he had to come in, but what can you do. Matt Willadsen started and wasn’t great coming off short rest, logging 65 pitches over four innings. Dominic Fritton threw nearly 50 high-leverage pitches in his effort to shut the game down in regulation.
So no doubt Sam Highfill will be on the bump for the game against Miami on Thursday, which is the game that will decide the pool.