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NC State Baseball

NC State Baseball CWS Timeline with One REALLY Big Question

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Sunday afternoon, Kendall Rogers at D1 Baseball released an article describing the timeline of events for State at the CWS. Specifically, the situations in testing that lead to their removal. Between the NCAA and NC State sources, he spent “a total of two and a half hours” crosschecking everything. It was a great insight into what happened, but left a ginormous question…Players repeatedly tested negative but still couldn’t play?

Before going further…You can follow Kendall Roger here or read more about college baseball here at D1 Baseball. All italicized writing is from Kendall Rogers/D1 Baseball.

Testing Protocols

NCAA tests unvaccinated players the day before each game, which ultimately comes out to about every other day. The protocol is “simple”.

A player/coach/travel party member will take an antigen test, which has a higher false positive/negative rate than a more conclusive PCR test. If that person tests positive on an antigen test, the NCAA sends that person to take a more confirmatory PCR test. If that PCR test is positive as well, they are not cleared, and the individual then enters what the NCAA dubs ‘blue protocol’. Blue protocol means they are not clear to participate, and they immediately go into isolation, and thus contact tracing begins.

In short…There is a quick test, that if positive, leads to a more in-depth/accurate test. Players need to obviously pass both.

It should be also noted, that if officials deem that there could be an outbreak amongst a team, all players/staff/travel party could be forced to test. That’ll come into effect shortly…

 

Issues from the Beginning

State had all negatives when they arrived in Omaha and when testing was done Sunday, before Game 1 versus Vanderbilt. But, Avent announced in the postgame conference (after beating Vandy 1-0) that a few folks had a “bug.” In hindsight, probably not the best to bring something like that up, regardless if you think a player(s) may have cold or flu, because shortly after…

The NCAA said they found out later Monday that one of the players who had the ‘bug’ had a roommate removed at some point on Sunday, which created some concern inside the NCAA.

So because of it seeming a little weird State is adjusting rooms and announcing players are sick…NCAA decided to test again.

The player that Avent said had a ‘bug’ on Monday, June 21, tested positive in an antigen and PCR test on Tuesday, which deemed him ‘not clear to participate’, and thus was directed to isolate. The roommate of the individual, who was in direct contact, was then directed to quarantine, according to the NCAA. The NCAA later found out that the first individual was symptomatic prior to Monday’s game, which Avent alluded to in his press conference. Avent did not know at the time it was COVID-19, however, just to make that perfectly clear. Avent, assistant coach Chris Hart and others also were tested, and were COVID-19 negative, NC State sources told D1Baseball. 

This would lineup with the rumors we were hearing that Jarrett was positive and the roommate (Justice) was in direct contact and moved.

Between Tuesday and Friday, June 25, NC State attempted to have the roommate of the first individual tested each day to potentially test out and be able to pitch. That request was not granted; though, the individual wound up testing positive later in the week anyway.

Symptoms right off the plane, first positive test by Tuesday. State is officially under the microscope of the NCAA.

Friday’s Shitshow

The individual who was in close contact with the COVID positive player was tested in hopes that he would test negative and could come out of quarantine ‘sooner, and perhaps be able to play’. However, that player tested positive for COVID-19. He was then deemed out of action. The same morning, NC State discovered two more players had shown symptoms consistent with COVID-19, so were proactive and sent them over to the Marriott for further testing. Those results arrived 90 minutes before the Vanderbilt game — both members of the traveling party were positive for COVID-19.

Here is where things start to spiral. In an effort to possibly get back a player, State pushes hard for retests and sure enough, it’s positive. Then State officials are good folks and say that two more players aren’t feeling a 100%, and they too are positive. If State would have just let it go, would we still be playing now or at least been close to full squad for Friday’s game? Probably. Did State do the right thing morally but trying to seek clarity with potential positive cases?  Yes.

Now that State has four cases, the Championship Medical committee is alarmed. Four members of the team (at this point all unvaccinated) have tested positive.

The NCAA informed NC State that unvaccinated players would be removed from the game and only vaccinated players could play in the game. The NCAA gave NC State the option to either forfeit and try to play Saturday or play on with a limited roster. NC State sources say they proposed to the NCAA to play a doubleheader between the two teams on Saturday instead. That request was denied. 

 

The BIG Question

This is where all the anger and confusion of this whole mess hits hardest. Four players are positive and the NCAA has forced State to play a game with only vaccinated players. In a further attempt to clear more players, State goes through yet another round of testing of all unvaccinated players.

At the start of the game, unvaccinated members of the Pack team were taken to the Marriott and tested. All of those unvaccinated members of the team were negative for COVID-19, including several prominent players on the roster. None of those players were able to return to the ballpark in time to enter the game.

This is HUGE. It’s been confirmed by Reid Johnston’s family and others, that State players tested negative SIX TIMES in Omaha and yet were unable to play. Could the game not have been moved back an hour more? Could the NCAA not have figured out a way to say “13 vaccinated and the XX number of players that continue to test negative can play.”? We are holding player back simply because they didn’t have the time TO WALK BACK TO THE BALLPARK?!?

 

Further Positive Tests and Kicked Out

With NC State having four positive COVID-19 tests, the team reached ‘outbreak’ status, which then caused the NCAA to get all members of the team tested — including the vaccinated members who played in the Friday game against Vandy. Shortly after that point, the results began to trickle in for each player — four players, all vaccinated — had tested positive for COVID-19, with all other players testing negative.

So here we hit the low point of the weekend. State has four vaccinated and four unvaccinated players that have tested positive. Within hours (at 1am in the freaking morning) NCAA committee decides to shut it all down. There was obvious fear that this would continue. The NCAA had to be questioning “Well what happens if 20 guys play tomorrow and they win? What happens that by Tuesday they are back down to 13 guys?” They panicked and State paid the price.

You most certainly could make the argument that negative tests mean you should be able to play. You also could make the argument that whether State at 27, 20 or 12 players, they still would have gone for it.

Instead, State heads back to Raleigh and the entire nation is now Miss State fans.

 

For Clarification

-Avent was torn apart for his statements after the Pack 13 game about vaccinations. Well Avent was vaccinated, thus the stuff about him being the cause of this all is over.

-There has yet to be any proof that Vandy called for retesting. Furthermore, the entire team (although all vaccinated) were tested and all were ‘everyone was cleared and able to play on Monday’ (according to ESPN’s Kris Budden as reported by The Tennessean) . That said, were they being a little sporting wanting to play knowing State was down to 13 but could have gained more back with time, sure.

 

In the end, we understand the process now, but we still have questions on the decisions.

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NC State Baseball

NC State’s 2023 Baseball Schedule is Here!

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The NC State 2023 Baseball schedule is officially out!

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The Wolfpack finished the 2022 season with a 36-21 record, with a 14-15 record in ACC play, finishing 5th in the conference. NC State made it to the finals of the ACC Championship, and was criminally snubbed from appearing in the NCAA Tournament

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NC State Baseball

Dave Doeren’s Postgame Press Conference After NC State’s Loss to BC: BULLETED

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NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren met with the media for his postgame press conference tonight after NC State lost to Boston College 20-21. You can watch it here, or check out a BULLETED breakdown below.

  • I don’t know really what to say. I’m pretty down for these kids.
  • Obviously we didn’t play well enough to win. We didn’t coach well enough to win. I’ll always put that on me.
  • Turning the ball over 3 times in the 2nd half changed the game in their favor.
  • I hate it for these seniors. It’s a great group of young men. We didn’t get it done. Give Boston College some credit.
  • At the same time, we had plays there.
    • We got stuffed on 4th-and-1 on the goal line in the 1st half.
    • I thought Drake [Thomas] made a fantastic play.
      • I’m disappointed that a flag was thrown on a play like that. I thought it was a bang-bang play to win the game.
      • I don’t know how you throw that flag. It’s a really disappointing call by that official.
    • But there were other plays in the game that we could have made that it wouldn’t have come down to that, and we didn’t.
      • Other calls we could have made. It’s going to be a tough night. We’ll get back together tomorrow and regroup and work hard to finish.
  • We were 2 of 12 on 3rd down. I think that was the biggest thing.
    • They were doing a good job in coverage.
      • We had a hard time getting open. We tried to get open a couple of times down the field and gave up some sacks.
    • Their defensive end [Donovan Ezeiruaka] beat us multiple times.
    • If you turn the ball over 3 times and can’t convert on 3rd down, it’s hard to find a rhythm.
    • We were in negative-yardage situations several times in the 2nd half.
    • We did a poor job after those first 2 scores.
  • It hurts [Grant Gibson’s injury late in the 1st half].
    • Grant has played more football on this team than anybody on our roster.
    • He’s a leader. He’s a 3-time captain.
    • It hurt not having him in the middle. Dylan [McMahon] had to move inside. That’s obviously a key loss in the game.
  • I just told him [MJ Morris] that he’s going to learn a lot from this film. He’s going to learn a ton watching it tomorrow.
    • He’ll grow from it. He’ll be better as he moves forward.
    • These kinds of mistakes are going to happen with a young quarterback.
    • There were a lot of them, but not just on him. It wasn’t just things that he did.
    • There’s things that could have been done to help him more.
      • That’s a thing we’ve done really well the last 2 games. We helped him. We protected for him. We got open. We made plays.
      • It just didn’t happen tonight. He’ll definitely learn from that experience. He’ll grow from it and be better because of it.
  • They’re incredible people [this Senior class]. Incredible.
    • I love every one of them. I’m thankful that they’ve been in my life. I’m blessed to be their coach.
    • I hate that we didn’t get that win for them tonight.
    • They’ve done a ton for NC State and this program.
    • They’re going to have very successful lives because of the people that they are, not just the players. They are incredible people.
  • Obviously their quarterback [Emmett Morehead] made some key plays with his legs and his arm.
    • He gave his guys a chance to make plays.
    • He gave them a chance to win. He did turn the football over a couple of times, but we didn’t get enough points out of the turnovers that we created.
  • Obviously Zay Flowers was a difference maker.
    • He had 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. We knew he was special.

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NC State Baseball Wins 1st Scrimmage Against Duke, Ties 2nd

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NC State’s Baseball squad was supposed to play the Ontario Blue Jays tonight in a Fall Scrimmage, but the game was cancelled. As a result, the Scrimmage scheduled for tomorrow against Duke, was moved up to tonight due to Hurricane Ian.

The Wolfpack defeated the Blue Devils 5-0 in the first 7-inning scrimmage.

Old Dominion Transfer Junior Carter Trice, batting in the cleanup spot for NC State, smashed one over the Left Field wall to give the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning.

Trice was a Freshman All-American at ODU, also earning 2nd Team All-American honors, after hitting .355, 14 home runs, collecting 54 RBI’s, and posting a .426 OBP, and a .778 SLG. As a Sophomore last year, Trice earned 2nd Team All-Conference USA honors after batting .295, hitting 17 home runs and stealing 18 bases. His SLG was .755 last year.

In the 3rd inning, the Wolfpack hit two more home runs. Sophomore Shortstop Payton Green hit a solo shot, and Junior 1st Baseman LuJames Groover hit a 2-run shot.

Green added an additional RBI via a base knock in the 4th inning, giving the Wolfpack their 5th and final run of the 1st scrimmage.

Junior Oregon Transfer Rio Britton took the mound for the first two innings, and blanked the Blue Devils in both. Britton posted a 3.32 ERA in two years for the Ducks, striking out 53 in 54.1 innings, holding opponents to a batting average of .193.

Sophomore Jacob Halford was up next, and he also pitched 2 scoreless frames, followed by Freshman Dom Fritton and Junior Justin Lawson, who each pitched a scoreless frame.

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In the 2nd scrimmage, NC State trailed 3-0 in the 7th inning, but the Wolfpack didn’t give up. After Freshman Matt Heavner was hit by a pitch, Junior Texas A&M Transfer Kalae Harrison brought him home with an RBI double. Then Freshman Michael Gupton walked.

With two men on base, Freshman Isaiah Barkett brought both Harrison and Gupton home with a triple to right field, tying the game, which ultimately ended in a 3-3 tie.

Redshirt Senior Baker Nelson gave up 1 run in two innings, and Redshirt Junior Clemson Transfer P.J. Labriola, Freshman Andrew Shaffner, Sophomore Carson Kelly, and Junior John Miralia all saw action as well from the mound.

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Four of the Top 5 players in NC have committed to play for NC State Baseball in 2024

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With the recent commitment of Anderson Nance, NC State has now secured commitments from 4 of the top 5 players in the state North Carolina for the 2024 class.

Nance, who committed on Friday, was the biggest get. He was ranked #1 overall and possesses a low to mid-90s fastball and plus secondary pitches. He projects to be a front-line starter at some point in his career.

They also have a commitment from the #2 player in the state, Drake Purvis, who is a 6’0, 175lb lefty who can get his fastball into the 90s.

The #3 player in the state for 2024 is Truitt Manuel, a 6’2, 195lb RHP/OF who is also a star football player for Hendersonville.

The #5 player in the state is another RPH named Kaden Morris, who is a monster at 6’8, 220lbs. Morris committed in mid-August.

As you can see, NC State baseball is putting together a class of elite pitching prospects for 2024, all of whom come from North Carolina.

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