Andrew Knizner was a consistent producer at NC State. For his career, he hit over .300 and showed a patient approach at the plate. Couple that with the fact that he was versatile in the field and you can see why the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the 2016 MLB draft.
Fast forward a few couple years and not much has changed for Knizner. He’s still hitting over .300, his approach is still solid and he’s showing he can play multiple positions in the field. The only difference is that he’s now doing that in the high level of the Cardinal farm system.
As you recall, Knizner was promoted to AAA in late May. He then followed with an invitation to the MLB Futures Game during All-Star weekend. Now, the question is, when will he get the call to the big show?
A target date to watch for is September 1st. This is when MLB rosters will expand from the normal 25-man roster to the full 40-man roster.
Now usually, if a guy is not on the 40-man roster, then it’s unlikely you’d see him get the call in September (and Knizner is not on the Cardinal’s 40-man.) However, the Cardinals are only 6.5 games out of first place in their division and just 4 games out of the Wild Card. This means they will likely be in the middle of a playoff push in September. That also means that they’ll need to make sure they have enough depth for that run.
Most teams carry at least 3 catchers when rosters expand, but looking at St. Louis’ 40-man, they would only be carrying their starter Yadier Molina, and backup Francisco Pena.
What we’re getting at is that if the Cardinals can keep pace in their playoff race, then when rosters expand, there is an increasingly good chance that they designate someone for assignment and add Andrew Knizner to the roster, both because his numbers dictate it and because they need an emergency backstop.
The kid has hit over .300 in AA and now after a few weeks in AAA, he’s hitting .314. He’s also being touted as a quality defensive catcher and is even starting to show a little more pop. The Cardinals are looking for a protege to bring up while their future Hall of Fame catcher, Yadier Molina is still around to tutor him. All of this may go into motion a lot sooner than thought, but it’s deserved and very much earned by the former Wolfpacker.
NC State Baseball Remains in Top-15 After Losing 7 of 9
Despite losing 7 of their last 9 games (prior to last nights victory over Tennessee Tech), NC State’s Baseball team remains in the Top-15 of the national rankings.
Perfect Game ranks the Wolfpack the highest, slotting them at #13 nationally.
Collegiate Baseball – 14th (11th)
D1Baseball – 14th (9th)
Baseball America – 16th (9th)
USAToday Coaches – 14th (8th)
NCBWA – 15th (11th)
NC State will kickoff a 3-game weekend series at Notre Dame on Friday night at 6pm.
#13 NC State Defeats Tennessee Tech, 10-6
RALEIGH – Thanks to Luca Tresh’s three-run homer in the seventh inning along with insurance runs from Jonny Butler’s two-RBI double in the eighth, the No. 13 NC State baseball team overcame a late two-run deficit to defeat Tennessee Tech, 10-6, on Tuesday evening at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The Wolfpack improves to 32-10 on the year while the Golden Eagles, a team that was one win away from reaching the College World Series in 2018, move to 17-21 on the year.
Tuesday’s victory marked the 16th time this season that the Pack has fought back from a deficit at some point to win a game.
“You can tell Tennessee Tech is a tough-minded team who’s been to some places and done some things,” said head coach Elliott Avent. “I think they’ve gone through some injuries but are getting those guys back and have sustained it. They’re a team that was one win away from Omaha last year and was the talk of the nation.
“They’re well-coached and are a very good ball club. They have three to four very good players up at the top of their lineup that can really hit. Jacob Cole pitched really well for them, and (Luca) Tresh came up with a big hit for us because he was pounding the strike zone.”
-The Golden Eagles took a 2-0 lead in its first two at-bats of the game, as Hunter Higdon drew a leadoff walk and Kevin Strohschein followed up with a home run to left field.
-NC State got a run back in the second on Butler’s sac fly to center field, scoring J.T. Jarrett after he drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on Dillon Cooper’s base hit to right field.
-Another walk and home run by Anthony Carrera on two outs in the third inning gave the Golden Eagles a 4-1 advantage.
-The Pack knotted the game up at four in the bottom frame. Evan Edwards trotted home for the first run of the side on a wild pitch after drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to third on Patrick Bailey’s single to center field.
-Tresh knocked in Bailey with a single up the middle, and Jarrett’s bases-loaded sac fly to center field plated Tresh.
-John Dyer and Carrera started the fifth inning with a single up the middle and double down the right field line, and Gavin Johns drove them both in with a single to left center to give the Golden Eagles their lead back.
-Tresh came up clutch in the seventh with his fifth homer of the year to give the Pack its first lead of the game. Tyler McDonough’s leadoff single followed by an error on a fielder’s choice put runners on base, allowing the freshman to give his team the 7-6 advantage.
-Butler provided the insurance runs in the eighth when he ripped a two-run double down the right field line, scoring Jarrett and Cooper after they led off the side with a pair of singles.
-After driving in two, Butler scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch to tack on a run of his own in the frame.
Inside The Box Score
-Tyler McDonough tallied his team-leading 21st multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 at the plate.
-Tresh matched his career-best outing with a 2-for-3 performance while batting in a career-high four runs.
-Cooper additionally put together a solid offensive performance in just his second start of the season, going 2-for-4.
-Butler tallied a career-best three RBI on the night with his sac fly and two-run double.
On The Mound
-Six Wolfpack pitchers combined for the win, led by another standout performance from Nick Swiney. He collected his fourth win of the season out of the bullpen, throwing 3.2 innings and allowing just one batter to reach base on a walk, while matching his career high in strikeouts with eight.
-Alec Barger tossed the final inning, issuing one walk while fanning two.
NC State will travel to Notre Dame this weekend for a three-game series at Frank Eck Stadium. The teams will play Friday ay 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., and all three games will be broadcast live on the ACC Network Extra with a free radio stream on WKNC 88.1 FM.
#7 NC State Splits Doubleheader With Wake Forest
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – No. 7 NC State baseball split its doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Wake Forest’s David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Wolfpack won game one, 4-3, but fell, 9-8, in the nightcap.
After the Pack took a 3-0 through the first two innings of game one, Wake knotted the score in the sixth to overcome its deficit. J.T. Jarrett belted his first career homer in the seventh to provide the go-ahead run for the Red & White to even the series.
In the rubber match NC State had a commanding 7-0 lead through the first two innings, but three-run bursts in the third, fifth and seventh by the Demon Deacons allowed Wake to take game two as well as the series.
The Wolfpack moves to 31-10 on the year and 13-8 in ACC play, while the Deacons improve to 24-17 overall and 11-10 against conference opponents.
Quick Hits (Game One)
-The Pack opened the scoring right away thanks to Tyler McDonough’s RBI single through the right side. After two quick outs to center field, Evan Edwards’ walk and a wild pitch put him in scoring position.
-A bases-loaded fielder’s choice and wild pitch with runners at the corners tacked on another pair of runs for the Pack in the third.
-Wake struck in the sixth when Bobby Seymour’s two-run double closed the team’s deficit to one after a pair of singles to left center on one out started the side.
-With runners at the corners after another base hit to left field, Michael Ludowig’s sac fly to left field knotted the game.
-It took just one pitch for the Pack to take its lead back, as Jarrett led off the seventh with his first career home run down the left field line.
-The score held as Nick Swiney was phenomenal in relief. Just one Wake Forest batter reached base in the final three innings of the contest.
Inside The Box Score (Game One)
-Jonny Butler (2-for-5), McDonough (2-for-4) and Jarrett (2-for-3) all turned in multi-hit outings and combined for six of the team’s seven hits in the game.
On The Mound (Game One)
-Starter Reid Johnston threw five strong innings of work before yielding the three runs in the sixth. Prior to the start of the sixth, he gave up just one hit and a pair of walks while fanning six.
-Swiney collected his third win of the year in relief, throwing the final 3.1 innings and surrendering just one hit while striking out six batters.
Quick Hits (Game Two)
-The Pack picked right back up where it left off in game one with McDonough’s two-run homer over the left field wall in the first inning.
-A five-run surge in the second extended NC State’s lead to seven. With the bases loaded on one out, Wake’s second baseman fielded a Butler ground ball, tagged Jarrett heading to second, but his throw to turn the double play was wild which allowed two runs to cross.
-Patrick Bailey’s RBI single to right center and back-to-back doubles by Edwards and McDonough knocked in the other three runs.
-In the third, Michael Turconi’s one-out solo shot to right center and Seymour’s two-run homer to right field cut Wake’s deficit to four.
-Wake tacked on three more runs in the fifth thanks to Seymour’s third RBI of the game, a groundout to second, with runners in scoring position and Shane Muntz’s two-run homer to center field.
-McDonough drove in his fifth run of the game in the seventh with a double to center field after Edwards led off with a single through the right side.
-The Deacons managed to take its first lead of the game in the bottom of the frame. Chris Lanzilli’s RBI single to center field and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch leveled the score, and another hit batter with the bases loaded gave Wake a one-run advantage.
-After a scoreless eighth, Edwards hit a one-out single to left field in the ninth to provide the game-tying run, but a 3-6 groundout double play ended the game.
Inside The Box Score (Game Two)
-McDonough’s 4-for-5 outing marked the third time this season he has tallied four hits in a single game. He also drove in a career-high five RBI and was a single shy of hitting for the cycle.
-He has reached base safely in the last 10 games and collected at least one hit in the last four.
-McDonough additionally leads the team with 20 multi-hit performances.
-Edwards also went 4-for-5 in the game, marking the third time in his career he’s accomplished the feat, and scored three runs of his own.
-Cameron Cotter (3-3) was charged with the loss after placing what proved to be the game-winning run on base in the seventh.
NC State returns home Tuesday for a midweek matchup with Tennessee Tech. First pitch is 6 p.m. at Doak Field at Dail Park, and the contest will be broadcast live on the ACC Network Extra.
Photo CreditSplits Doubleheader With Wake Forest
#7 NC State Drops Series Opener At Wake Forest, 7-3
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Despite a two-run homer in the eighth and putting a pair of runners on with two-outs in the ninth in an attempted comeback, the seventh-ranked NC State baseball team dropped its series opener on Thursday evening to Wake Forest at the David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C., 7-3.
The Wolfpack moves to 30-9 overall and 12-7 in ACC play, while the Demon Deacons improve to 23-16 on the year and 10-9 against conference opponents.
-After two scoreless innings, the Demon Deacons struck in the third with three runs on four hits and an error. Chris Lanzilli clubbed a two-out homer over the left field wall for the first run.
-Brendan Tinsman’s hard-hit ball off of Wolfpack pitcher Evan Justice, followed by an NC State error doubled Wake’s lead.
-With Tinsman on second after the error, Michael Ludowig knocked him in with a base hit up the middle.
-NC State got on the board in the fifth thanks to Will Wilson’s sac fly to right field after Vojtech Mensik led off with a double up the right field line and advanced to third on Jonny Butler’s groundout to second base.
-Wake countered with a run of its own in the home half of the fifth, stretching its lead back out to three. A pair of walks and groundout to first started the threat, and Tinsman drove his second run of the night in on a groundout to third base.
-The Demon Deacons plated a pair of runs in the sixth on a bases-loaded two-run single through the left side, extending its lead to 6-1.
-A run in the seventh added to Wake’s advantage. Ludowig led off with a double to right center, and Bruce Steel’s single to right center allowed him to cross home plate.
-Luca Tresh trimmed the Pack’s deficit to four in the eighth inning with a two-run homer, his fourth of the year, over the center field wall.
-The Pack tried to start a two-out rally in the ninth with Patrick Bailey’s double down the right field line and Evan Edwards’ walk, but couldn’t push any runs across.
Inside The Box Score
-Mensik provided the team’s only multi-hit outing, as he went 2-for-4 with a single and double. It was his sixth multi-hit game of the year.
-Tyler McDonough extended his reached base streak to eight.
-Tresh’s homer marked the fourth time this year he has drove in multiple runs.
On The Mound
-Starter Dalton Feeney (1-1) was charged with the loss, as we went 2.2 innings and gave up an earned run on four hits.
-Andrew Blake was strong in relief for the Wolfpack. He threw the final 2.2 innings of the game, yielding an earned run on four hits while matching his career high in strikeouts with six.
The teams will meet Saturday at 6 p.m. at the David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C., as NC State will look to even the series with the Demon Deacons. The contest will be broadcast live on the ACC Network Extra.
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