RALEIGH, N.C. – Trailing by three heading to the bottom of the ninth, the top-ranked NC State baseball team rallied with a pair of runs but fell short against Virginia, 4-3, Friday night in the series opener at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Sophomore David Vazquez led off the ninth for the Wolfpack with a double to right center and Luca Tresh stepped to the plate next to pinch-hit. Facing Virginia’s closer, the freshman fell behind in the count 0-2 but battled to even the count before smashing his second home run of the season to trim the NC State deficit to one.
Unfortunately for the Pack, Virginia’s Kyle Whitten responded to retire the next three batters to nail down his fourth save of the year. Andrew Abbott threw 3.1 innings of relief to earn his second win of the season, while Jason Parker was charged with his first loss after yielding four earned runs in 4.1 innings.
NC State is now 25-2 on the year and 8-2 in ACC play, while Virginia improves to 16-10 and 6-4 in league action.
“I thought we battled as always and made it a good finish there in the top of the ninth,” said head coach Elliott Avent. “We had a chance with the top of the order up down one, but I thought they threw a couple really electric guys with great stuff. I think they’ve got a chance to pitch in the big leagues.
“We’ve got a good hitting ballclub, but they made it really tough on us. [Andrew] Blake came in and did a great job on the mound to give us a chance. As good as their guys were pitching, we still battled and had guys on base we just couldn’t get the big hit.”
– Virginia struck first in the contest with a run in the second inning, as Zack Gelof singled to start the inning, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Alex Tappen to take a 1-0 lead.
– The Cavaliers added a pair of runs in the third on a double play with the bases loaded and an RBI single from Gelof.
– A pair of doubles from Cameron Simmons and Nate Eikhoff extended the Virginia advantage to 4-0 in the top of the fifth.
– NC State answered with a run in the bottom of the inning after Vojtech Mensik and Jonny Butler walked prior to a single from Will Wilson to get the Wolfpack on the board and chase Virginia starter Griff McGarry.
– Reliever Andrew Abbott wiggled out of the jam with a called strikeout, as the Wolfpack could not get anything else.
– The Pack had a runner reach base in each inning after the fifth but was unable to get the big hit against a strong Virginia pitching staff.
Inside the Box Score
– Patrick Bailey and Evan Edwards each had a hit in the contest to extend their reached base safely streaks to 27, as they have reached in every game this season.
– Edwards singled up the middle in the sixth and Bailey doubled off the left field wall in the bottom of the eighth to keep his streak alive.
– Butler and Mensik also recorded hits, as both singled.
On the Mound
– Parker may not have had his best stuff on Friday night, but he battled to keep NC State in the game.
– He went 4.1 innings with four strikeouts, three walks and four runs allowed before handing it over to Andrew Blake, who went the distance.
– Blake threw a career long 4.2 innings, fanning a career-best six batters. He allowed four hits and all were singles.
Today’s Baseball Game vs. Winthrop will be Rescheduled
#14 NC State was scheduled to host Winthrop in a midweek game today, but the game is going to be rescheduled due to several members of the team testing positive for the flu. Check out the release below.
The baseball game between NC State and Winthrop originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, will be rescheduled for a later date.
Several members of the Wolfpack team tested positive for flu so the decision was made to move the game for precautionary measures.
That means that NC State’s next game will be their first ACC game, beginning a 3-game series against Boston College (6-3) here in Raleigh on Friday afternoon at 3pm.
NC State Baseball Top-25 Rankings Update After a 5-0 Week
NC State 3B Alec Makarewicz Earns ACC Player of the Week Honors
NC State Senior 3rd Baseman Alec Makarewicz earned ACC Player of the Week honors for his performances against Queens and Towson last week.
Makarewicz’s hot streak continued into a perfect 5-0 week for the Wolfpack at home. Makarewicz posted a .455 batting average with a team-high 10 hits, four doubles, 13 RBI, 20 total bases and six extra-base hits. The Longwood, Florida, native opened his week with a 3-for-4 performance with four RBI, three runs scored, a home run and a double as NC State routed Queens, 17-2. The Wolfpack third baseman then delivered three additional multi-hit performances in the sweep over Towson, capping off the weekend with a 3-for-5 day at the plate with three doubles, five RBI and a run scored. Makarewicz’s final swing of the weekend was a run-rule, walk-off double to center field as the Pack completed the weekend sweep with a 14-4 win over the Tigers. On the season, Makarewicz leads NC State with 24 RBI, 39 total bases, 19 hits and 10 extra-base hits. (ACC)
The Transfer from East Carolina has looked right at home here in Raleigh through the first two weeks of the 2024 College Baseball season.
#14 NC State Beats Towson 14-4 in Series Finale, Completing Sweep
#14 NC State (9-2) beat Towson (1-10) 14-4 yesterday afternoon, completing the 4-game sweep.
Freshman Ryan Marohn picked up his 2nd Win of the season, giving up 4 earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched (89 pitches). He struck out 5, while walking none. Through his first three collegiate starts, Marohn is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA, with 14 k’s in 14 innings pitched (8 walks).
SR 3B Alec Makarewicz continues to destroy baseballs with the baseball bat. He was 3 for 5 with 5 RBI’s. All 3 of A-Mak’s hits were doubles. Makarewicz is currently batting .404 with an OPS of 1.291.
— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) March 3, 2024
SO Josh Hogue, who was the Designated Hitter, was the only other player with a multi-hit performance (the team had 11 hits). He was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and 3 Runs. One of those hits was his 1st Home Run as a member of NC State. On the year, Hogue is batting .414 with an OPS of 1.041.
— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) March 3, 2024
JR C Jacob Cozart and RS FR LF Drew Lanphere both had 2 RBI’s, while Cozart also had 3 Runs. On the year, Cozart and Lanphere are batting .371 and .400 respectively, with OPS’ of 1.369 and 1.114 respectively.
Freshman Jacob Dudan picked up his 2nd Save of the season. Through 6 appearances, Dudan has yet to give up an earned run, with batters hitting only .222 against him.
Up Next: The Wolfpack will host Winthrop at 3pm tomorrow.