RALEIGH – NC State baseball pitchers Alec Barger, Michael Bienlien, Andrew Blake, Evan Justice and Jason Parker alongside outfielder Thayer Thomas were selected on the third and final day of the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft on Wednesday.
In total, the Wolfpack had a total of eight players drafted this week. In his 23rd season at the helm of the program, Elliott Avent has had a combined 113 MLB Draft picks.
This year’s eight picks are the second-most in program history in a single season, as it ties the eight drafted in 2006 and ‘17 and is just one shy the nine selected in 2008.
Additionally, #Pack9 signees Blake Walston (1stround, 26th pick), Noah Soles (19th round, 572ndpick) and Jose Torres (24th round, 733rd pick), as well as junior college transfer Andy Samuelson (12th round, 367th pick) were all drafted this week. Walston and Soles were both selected to the Arizona Diamondbacks while Samuelson and Torres went to the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively.
Jason Parker | RHP | New Bern, N.C.
16th round – 474th pick – Cincinnati Reds
Parker, who played two years at Louisburg Junior College prior to this season, led the pitching staff with 16 starts. He finished the year with a 4.38 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 76.0 innings, the second-best on the team. The North Carolina native earned four wins on the mound, and his career-best outing was when he went seven strong against then-No. 1 Florida State and struck out 10.
Alec Barger | RHP | Savoy, Ill.
17th round – 517th pick – Atlanta Braves
Barger spent two seasons at Polk State Community College before transferring to NC State for the 2019 season. He made 17 appearances, including six starts, and finished with a 2-2 record on the mound. Barger compiled a 6.14 earned-run average in 29.1 innings with 35 strikeouts, and his best outing of the season was vs. Elon on March 26 when he went a career-long 5.0 innings and fanned 10.
Andrew Blake | RHP | Lewisville, N.C.
21st round – 631st pick – Los Angeles Angels
Blake spent his first two seasons at Pitt Community College. In his junior year at NC State he picked up the win vs. Pitt after throwing 4.1 innings without allowing a run to score. His longest outing was on March 29 when he went 4.2 innings and fanned six. He finished the 2019 season with a 4.79 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.
Michael Bienlien | RHP | Chesapeake, Va.
24th round – 712th pick – Detroit Tigers
Bienlien has made 19 career starts and 53 appearances in his three seasons with the Red and White. He owns a career 5.16 ERA and nine wins in 113.0 innings pitched. His career-long outing was at Notre Dame on April 2, 2017, when he tossed 7.0 innings, and additionally tallied a career-high six strikeouts on two separate occasions.
Thayer Thomas | OF | Wake Forest, N.C.
33rd round – 1007th pick – Boston Red Sox
Thomas, who also plays for the football team, made 14 game appearances in his first season, including four starts as an outfielder. At the plate he batted .222 with four hits and a .500 slugging percentage, and defensively tallied eight putouts with a 1.000 fielding percentage. His best game of the season was on March 9 vs. Pittsburgh when we went 2-for-2 with a double and home run, driving in a pair of runs while scoring two of his own.
Evan Justice | LHP | Richmond, Va.
39th round – 1161st pick – Miami Marlins
Justice led the Wolfpack’s bullpen with 29 appearances this season, coming away with four wins, and his 36 K’s were the second-most out of the pen. On Feb. 22 vs. Kent State the sophomore went a career-long 4.0 innings and fanned a career-best five. Overall, he owns a 5.60 career ERA and six wins in 45 appearances and 64.1 innings pitched.
NC State Baseball Rankings Update After Another Undefeated Week
The NC State Baseball team is now 7-0 through two weeks of play, going 4-0 last week, defeating Coastal Carolina 16-4 on the road in a midweek game, and sweeping Belmont at home this past weekend (11-4, 7-0, 7-1).
The Wolfpack remain ranked 21st in the D1Baseball Top-25.
The Wolfpack moved up 11 spots to #19 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll, up 2 spots to #20 in the Coaches Poll, and up 1 spot to #24 in the Baseball America poll.
NC State will host Longwood today at 3pm in their next matchup.
NC State Sticks at #21 After Opening Weekend Sweep
NC State’s Men’s Baseball team stayed put at #21 in the D1Baseball Top-25 after an opening weekend sweep of Wagner.
NC State also stayed put at #25 in the Baseball America’s new poll, and stayed put at #30 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll.
The Wolfpack will play Coastal Carolina on the road this Wednesday at
NC State Picked 3rd in the Atlantic in the 2023 ACC Baseball Preseason Poll
The 2023 ACC Preseason Poll was released yesterday, and NC State is projected to finish 3rd in the Atlantic.
NC State finished 5th in the Atlantic Division in 2022, with a 14-15 record in Conference play.
The Doak is getting its renovation…and NC State fans aren’t exactly loving it
I was just about to write a piece about the Doak renovation going down.
— NC State Athletics (@PackAthletics) January 25, 2023
But while I was over on Twitter, I saw a ton of comments on it, all of them NC State fans, and almost all of them critical of the new look.
Look, I don’t know what’s going on here. Maybe it’ll look a lot better once it’s done, or maybe the grass will match up a lot better when it greens up. But right now, it’s a little jarring. Here is how it used to look…
And here is how it’s looking right now…
— Allen (@BigalnRaleigh) January 19, 2023
Again, I’m going to wait until it’s really done before I cast judgement, but I think the official tweet from the school marketing it and drawing attention to it, has people thinking it’s in it’s final form. And maybe it is. But I hope it’s not.
I remember this being shared a while back…
This shows grass in foul territory and dirt in the 1st/3rd baselines. So I’m not sure when this turf thing came along. And while we’re on the subject, aren’t we a turf management school? Shouldn’t we be turning up our noses at artificial turf?
Apparently, this is a thing now, where foul territories are artificial turf and fair territory is grass. Here is Mississippi State’s baseball field doing the same thing.
— Mississippi State Baseball (@HailStateBB) February 15, 2019
Can’t say I like it there either, honestly. It just seems like one of those fads. Remember when everyone was going crazy with field/court colors?
School with a grey field and school with a glow in the dark basketball court meet on blue turf. Winning coach gets dumped with French fries. College athletics at its absolute best. https://t.co/crEKoeLKbX pic.twitter.com/Bpeod50Sy4
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 4, 2022
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) November 10, 2021
The worst basketball court in the history of the sport. Thanks a lot, Oregon. pic.twitter.com/842T5CYmIc
— Craig Miller (@junior_miller) January 30, 2022
Did anyone ever really like those? Do people like them now? Have they ever gotten a recruit to come to the school? Have they ever scared a recruit away?
I don’t know. You tell me. I’ll hold final judgment, but things NC State fans don’t seem like they’re going to follow along.