RALEIGH, N.C. – Headlined by a 10-run sixth inning, the second-ranked NC State baseball team cruised past the George Mason Patriots, 18-3, Wednesday afternoon at Doak Field at Dail Park to stay unbeaten.
The Wolfpack moves to 17-0 and is one of the nation’s two remaining undefeated teams, along with Arizona State. Already off to its best start in program history, NC State’s 17 consecutive wins is the second longest winning streak in program history behind the 1990 team with a 19-game win streak.
After George Mason knotted the game with a run in the top of the third, NC State responded with six runs in the bottom of the frame en route to the dominant win.
Redshirt freshman Cameron Cotter was stellar in relief, throwing three shutout innings to earn his first career win. George Mason (8-6) starter Patrick Halligan was charged with his first loss of the season after yielding four earned runs in 2.1 innings.
“I’m really proud of our team,” said head coach Elliott Avent. “It was a tough game to play because we got back at 2 a.m. last night after a very emotional game at Charlotte in a beautiful ballpark in front of a great crowd.
“Your body is a little sluggish and tired, so to come out and play as well as we did today was great. It took us a little while to get going, but I thought we played really good. I’m really, really proud of the way the guys played today.”
– Following solo homer from the Patriots in the top of the second, RBI doubles from David Vazquez and Jonny Butler gave the Wolfpack a 2-1 advantage.
– George Mason leveled the tally in the third, but NC State answered with a big inning in the bottom half to take an 8-2 lead.
– Tyler McDonough ignited the rally with his second home run of the season, a two-run blast over the right field wall.
– Butler walked with the bases loaded before a two-run single from Will Wilson and Butler scored on an error, as the sixth run of the frame.
– The Wolfpack batted around in the sixth, as 14 NC State batters came to the plate for a season-high 10 runs in the inning.
– Wilson led off with a solo shot to left field, his fourth round-tripper of the season to tie with Evan Edwards for the team lead.
– After a fielder’s choice from Terrell Tatum to bring in a run and an RBI walk from Vazquez, J.T. Jarrett smashed a bases-clearing double to put the Wolfpack ahead, 14-2.
– Patrick Bailey drove in a run on a single to left field and a double from McDonough brought in the final two runs of the game for NC State.
Inside the Box Score
– Each player in the Wolfpack’s starting lineup reached base safely in the game.
– McDonough was 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs, while Wilson was 2-for-5 with three RBI and a run.
– Butler turned in a 2-for-4 day at the plate with two RBI and two runs, Brad Debo added a pair of hits and three runs.
– NC State compiled a .474 batting average with runners in scoring position in the contest and hit .370 with runners on base.
On the Mound
– Five pitchers saw action in the game for the Wolfpack with Alec Barger getting the start.
– Nick Swiney relieved him and threw two innings with four strikeouts before handing the ball to Cotter.
– David Harrison took over for Cotter and pitched a hitless inning and Mathieu Gauthier closed out the game on the mound.
– NC State pitchers struck out 11 batters in the game and only walked two.
NC State will return to action this weekend against the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles. Friday and Saturday’s games are set for 6:30 p.m., while Sunday’s series finale is slated for 1 p.m. at Doak Field at Dail Park.