WILMINGTON, N.C. – The second-ranked NC State baseball team scored six runs in the fourth inning en route to an 8-3 victory against the UNCW Seahawks Wednesday afternoon at Brooks Field.
With the win, the Wolfpack remains unbeaten in midweek games this season with a perfect 8-0 record. NC State is now 26-6 overall on the year, while UNCW falls to 20-12.
Freshman Reid Johnston picked up the win for the Pack with 2.1 innings of relief, while UNCW reliever Austin Easter was charged with the loss.
“I thought we played really well tonight,” said head coach Elliott Avent. “This is a tough place to play and they had a big crowd here tonight. They’ve got a really good ball club with some big-time pitching and all of them can pitch. But our guys did what they’ve done all year, which is settle down and play the game.
“Dillon Cooper getting that big two-strike hit and then scoring on the infield single from McLain was huge. Those are the things that we’ve done all year and that’s what has made us who we are. This club likes to play for each other and they give everything they’ve got to each other and that’s part of the reason we’ve been so successful.”
– UNCW struck first in the contest with an unearned run in the bottom of the third, but NC State answered in a major way with six runs in its next at-bat.
– Brock Deatherage reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on a single to left center by freshman Terrell Tatum to put runners at the corners with one out.
– Dillon Cooper ripped an RBI single up the middle to score Deatherage and knot the score at 1-1.
– NC State executed a perfect hit-and-run, as J.T. Jarrett chopped a ground ball over the third baseman’s head into left field to plate Tatum, who was moving with the pitch, from second base.
– An RBI single from Josh McLain pushed the Wolfpack’s advantage to 3-1, as Cooper scored from third base.
– Two batters later, Will Wilson stepped to the plate with two outs and launched his eighth home run of the year to deep center field, giving NC State a 6-1 lead.
– It was the 16th time this season that NC State has scored four of more runs in an inning.
– UNCW got a pair of runs back in the fifth after a two-run homer by Zack Canada to cut the Wolfpack’s lead to 6-3.
– Deatherage sparked the Pack offense with a leadoff triple to left center in the eighth and scored on a single to left field by Dillon Cooper, as he smashed a hanging slider on an 0-2 pitch.
– McLain legged out an infield single to second base for his second hit of the day and Cooper raced around to score from second on the play to extend NC State’s advantage to 8-3.
Inside the Box Score
– Wilson led the Wolfpack at the plate with a 2-for-5 outing, highlighted by a three-run homer. The Kings Mountain, N.C., native hit his first collegiate home run at UNCW last season, as he has homered in consecutive trips to Brooks Field.
– Cooper was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and runs, while McLain had a multi-hit day and drove in a couple runs.
– Patrick Bailey, Deatherage, Jarrett and Tatum each had one hit for NC State.
– The Wolfpack recorded a .389 batting average at the plate with runners on base and a .667 clip with runners in scoring position. In contrast, UNCW only had two hits with runners on base.
On the Mound
– Freshman David Harrison started on the mound for NC State and pitched 2.1 innings before handing the ball to Nolan Clenney, who threw two-thirds innings.
– Johnston took over next and threw 2.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts.
– Kent Klyman went an 1.2 and Wilmington, N.C., native Joe O’Donnell closed out the game with two hitless innings.
NC State returns to action this weekend when Notre Dame visits Doak Field at Dail Park for a three-game series. Friday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m.