With a little help from our Panther friends, State’s game against UNC Friday, is 100000% about pride.
Pitt beat the Tar Heels 5-3 on Tuesday. Thus, with a win against State, Pitt would win the pool and move onto the semis. A State win would mean, at the very least, all Pool C teams would be at 1-1 and therefore advance due to best record and ranking. So a win on Thursday night against Pitt and State baseball advances. (Regardless of scenario of UNC/Pitt game, State had to just win 3 games…but having Pitt first actually helps from a pitching perspective. Roll with Reid and just put anyone on the mound if you win. *Crosses fingers so tightly they break*).
We knew that UNC was in a rough spot on the road. Tar Heels have now only won 6 out of 21 road/neutral games. Pitt meanwhile, still didn’t look like the better team, but thanks to wild pitch scoring a run and advancing another runner to third, followed by a sac fly, that’s all they needed to beat UNC.
NC State will most likely face Matt Gilbertson on Thursday. Last time they met, he was a ND giving up 5 runs in 6 innings on the way to a State win 9-7. Oh and this happened…
T4 | TATER TATUM!
NCSU 4, PITT 3 pic.twitter.com/LtmHEctN8C
— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) May 15, 2021
Barstool Sports asks if NC State freshman Tommy White is greatest player of all time after 5 HR weekend
After 3 games, NC State freshman Tommy White has already made a name for himself.
I mean, it’s not like White was a nobody before this, he was the 18th overall player in the nation and top 3B in the country coming in (according to Perfect Game). But I don’t think anyone expected this.
This is just outrageous.@NCStateBaseball freshman slugger Tommy White finished the weekend with:
What a weekend.
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) February 21, 2022
Yeah, you’re seeing that right. 5 HRs in his first 3 college games. See’em for yourself.
Tommy White’s five homers this weekend had an average exit velocity of 105.6 MPH and average distance of 416 feet, per @TrackManBB
ABSOLUTE NUKES 💣
— Raleighwood Scott (@ScottNCSU) February 21, 2022
That debut prompted a headline from Barstool Sports, asking if Tommy is the greatest of all time. And while that might be premature, no body has ever had a start to their college career quite like this.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 21, 2022
Oh yeah, and by the way, the Pack swept Evansville and is now 3-0 to start the year.
Top quotes from Elliot Avent’s preseason presser, and reading between the lines
Elliot Avent sat in with the media for a preseason interview. He touched on last year, he dove into this year’s roster, and while he didn’t give us the “We’re out for revenge!” quotes we all wanted, between the lines you can see that this is a guy who is laser-focused on getting back to the College World Series and taking back what was rightfully his. (Watch the full interview here from The Wolfapcker’s YouTube channel)
On putting last year behind him and moving on…
“I never put anything behind me, so that’s a long way from being behind me. Trust me.”
On if the team is ready to get started on a new season…
“Players are always ready to get started. You know, you like to play the game. It’s kind of like Allen Iverson said: “Practice? I mean, Really?” Guys want to play, that’s what we all love to do.”
On the talent he has on this team (which he segwayed into a comment about starting freshmen)…
“We’ve got some guys who are very talented. I was just sitting there talking to Brett Austin, and you talk about “Hey, we’re probably gonna have a freshman starting behind the plate, a freshman starting at shortstop, and then we lost possibly as good a centerfielder as NC State has ever had in Tyler McDonough last year and so you’ve got a new guy in centerfield.”
On his talented starting rotation…
“Just to see Canaan Silver, David Harrison, obviously you mentioned Sam, and Matt Willadsen, and Chris Villaman. It gives you some reassurance. I’ll be honest with you.”
On dealing with the COVID forfeit from last year’s College World Series…
“Never talk about it, never discuss. It’s not talked about by players, it’s not talked about by me.”…”So we never discuss it, but do I think about it? Constantly. It will never get too far away from me and I’ll never forget it.”
On using last year’s CWS COVID forfeit as motivation for this year…
“I don’t take any motivation from anything that has wronged me in the past. I don’t believe in chips on my shoulder. I’m not a guy that believes in that kind of stuff .. you know, revenge. I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.”
On the expectations of Matt Willadsen…
“I don’t ever try to get expectations too high for anybody. I think that’s a bar you shouldn’t give people. But Matt Willadsen, I told him the other day, about a week ago, we were sitting in the dugout, I just said… “Matt, how proud I am of you.”… He has grown so much. Last year, he and Chris Villaman grew up during the season as much as I’ve ever seen two players mature during the season. They were good, but they went to great.”
On Sam Highfill’s arm angle…
“Yeah, I’ve seen it and it’s very effective. A lot of people don’t do it. I’m surprised more people don’t do it. You’ve got to have a certain amount of athleticism to do it. It’s not easy to repeat your delivery. It’s not an easy thing. Now you’re having two deliveries, so it’s kind of like a switch hitter. You don’t see as many switch hitters today as you used to.”
On the new field renovations…
“I can’t wait. This has been a dream of not only mine, right, but every player who has ever played here, every coach before me…”
On Devonte Brown…
“Devonte Brown’s just a winner. You can sum it up pretty easy. He’s just a winner. And the leadership, I told him on several occasions this fall… ‘You and JT stayed back behind.’… They could have signed too. They could have both left this program, and with all your players leaving, all your friends leaving, it’s easy to leave as well. They made a commitment to stay here, and their leadership has been unbelievable this fall, carrying over into the spring. And we’re going to need their leadership.”
Our take on the interview is that Avent thinks he has great leadership and a ton of talent. He is also excited about his freshmen. He keeps saying that he’s not discussing last season’s ending and he’s not using it for motivation but read between the lines and it’s apparent that it’s fueling him inside. He says there’s no chip on his shoulder, but at the same time, he says he thinks about it daily and he’ll never forget. You gotta love it. This is a killer’s mentality. Don’t let your opponent see any sign of weakness. Don’t let them know what’s bothering you. Don’t let it be a distraction for your team, but deep down inside, you are driven to do it again. Prove that no matter how many times they do you wrong, you’ll always get back up and take what’s rightfully yours. It’s why I have been and always will be ‘Team Avent.’
WATCH: See a video of the new renderings of NC State’s baseball stadium upgrades
We’ve been begging NC State to go all-in on baseball and build a brand new stadium, but that’s not happening.
What is happening is a major upgrade to Doak Field, and the new mockups have just hit the wire. Check out the video above to see them.
Here is what we’ve got:
Competitive Team Performance Spaces
-Team lounge, nutrition, and sports medicine
-New playing surface
-Scoreboard and sound system upgrade
Fan Experience Upgrades
-Seating variety and quality
-Premium and entertainment space
-New shaded area
For recruiting, the new locker rooms, team lounge, weight room, batting facility, and pitching lab are going to be big helps. Doak was severely lacking any real modern amenities for the players and it’s likely that was having some impact on landing talent.
For the fans, the real addition is the new shaded area and concession upgrades. It looks like you’ll be able to grab some BBQ and a beer and hang out in a standing room only, shaded zone, while you watch the game. These types of spaces have done well in newer MLB stadiums, so my guess is that they’ll be popular here.
And what is that on field level? Are those tents with grills? Can you rent out a little tailgate zone and throw your own burgers on during the game? Count me in. Well, first tell me how much that is going to cost and whether or not I’ll be able to bring my own meat. But if that all checks out, then yeah, count me in!
Oh, here’s the bad news. These upgrades are costing $15 million and will be completed in phases.
1st – The field upgrades.
2nd – The player experience upgrades.
3rd- The fan experience upgrades.