Quick hits from NC State’s 10-5 NCAA Tournament loss to Kentucky.
• To begin the rain delayed playoff game, NC State starting pitcher Johnny Piedmonte struggled to find the plate, with four walks and four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.
• Brett Kinneman put NC State in front with a two-run moon shot home run to right field in the second inning.
• NC State held a 5-4 lead into the seventh when Kentucky put up 3 runs in the seventh and the ninth on only 2 hits.
• Kentucky got a clutch relief job from the SEC pitcher of the year and game winner Sean Hjelle. Hjelle pitched 3.1 innings with no hits and 5 strikeouts.
Check swing send Wolfpack back to Raleigh?
The final box score will show Kentucky with 10 runs,6 hits, two errors and 5 walks allowed. NC State will show up with 5 runs , 5 hits , four errors and nine walks allowed.
What the box score won’t show is some of the questionable check swing calls that swung this game. In at least three critical at-bats, Kentucky batters broke their wrists attempting a swing at an NC State pitch. On all plays, the plate umpire called the pitch a ball. All three were appealed to the third base umpire but the home cooked call stood up to the original recipe. NC State’s catcher and third baseman were livid with the horrible calls and Coach Avett argued with no results.
Did these ball and strike calls determine the ultimate winner? There were the errors, the poor pitching and lack of timely hitting, but man those check swing calls didnt help. However, for an NC State fan, it was par for the course.
Sour grapes for dessert.