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Previewing NC State’s College World Series Opponent: #2 Seed Kentucky

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#10 overall seed NC State will face #2 overall seed Kentucky in the first round of games of the 2024 College World Series. The first pitch will be thrown at 2pm, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN. Before they take the field, here’s a preview of the Wildcats.

Kentucky is making their College World Series debut this weekend. They are 45-14, and they are currently tied for the most wins in a single season in school history (tying the 2012 team).

Nick Mingione is in his 8th year as the Wildcats Head Coach, and Perfect Game and NCBWA both honored him with their National Coach of the Year Award.

Kentucky won the regular season SEC title, but lost in pool play via double-elimination.

Senior Designated Hitter was named 1st Team All-SEC, leading the team with a .350 Batting Average. Junior Outfielder Ryan Waldschmidt earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors, leading the team in OPS (1.107), with a Batting Average of .346 and 14 Home Runs.

Junior Infielder Emilien Pitre earned a spot on the All-SEC Defensive team, and was named 3rd Team All-American by Rawlings & ABCA.

Senior 1st Baseman Ryan Nicholson led the squad with 21 Home Runs, with a Batting Average of .299, and an OPS of 1.080.

Senior Trey Pooser will likely be the Starting Pitcher for the Wildcats tomorrow. He enters the game boasting a 7-1 record with 3.46 ERA, striking out 79 batters in 83.1 innings. In the postseason, Pooser has been untouchable, with a 3-0 record, and a 0.47 ERA.

Junior Mason Moore is the 2nd part of Kentucky’s 1-2 punch on the mound. Moore 9-3 with a 4.93 ERA.

Kentucky is 5-0 thus far in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, defeating Western Michigan, Illinois and Indiana State in the Regional Round, and swept #15 overall seed Oregon State in the Super Regionals.

The Wildcats only gave up 2 runs over two games against Beavers in the Super Regionals. Over their past 4 games in the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky has given up a total of 3 runs.

Matthew is Publisher and Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He is also the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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NC State Baseball

NC State Lands a Commitment from JUCO Pitcher Landon Carr

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NC State has landed a commitment from Junior College Pitcher Landon Carr out of Gaston College (Gaston County, North Carolina).

Carr spent his first two years of college ball at Gaston College. This past season, he appeared in 18 games, with an impressive ERA of 1.88, a WHIP of 0.98, striking out 56 batters in 48 innings. Carr only had 16 walks in 48 innings. He finished with a 7-1 record, 2 Complete Games, and 4 Saves.

Over two years, Carr’s career ERA is 2.23 in 68.2 innings pitched.

He had previously committed to Campbell on March 21st, but was released from his NLI due to a coaching change on July 2nd.

Last year, NC State struck gold in the JUCO ranks, picking up Outfielder Josh Hogue.

This offseason, the Wolfpack has also picked up commitments from:

UTL Trenton Lyons (Ole Miss)

1B Matt Ossenfort (Vanderbilt)

OF Dalen Thompson (Campbell)

P Julien Piessel (UNCG)

3B Ryan Jaros (Georgia Tech)

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NC State Baseball

NC State’s Garrett Pennington Signs UDFA Deal with the Detroit Tigers

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NC State 1st Baseman Garrett Pennington has signed an Undrafted Free Agent Deal with the Detroit Tigers.

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Pennington made the most of his 1 year in Raleigh, after transferring from Wichita St. last offseason. He finished tied for the 2nd most Doubles in a single season in NC State history, and earned a spot on the All-ACC Third Team.

This past season, Pennington hit .350, with 27 Doubles, 18 Home Runs, 65 RBI’s, 75 Runs, with an OPS of 1.100.

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NC State’s Alec Makarewicz Signs UDFA Deal with the White Sox

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NC State 3rd Baseman Alec Makarewicz has signed an Undrafted Free Agent Deal with the Chicago White Sox.

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A-Mak had one of the best offensive seasons in NC State history. He finished with the most Total Bases EVER in a single season, with the 4th most Home Runs & Doubles. He also earned multiple All-American honors, as well as 2nd Team All-ACC honors.

Makarewicz, who transferred from ECU last offseason, hit .378, with 24 Home Runs, 25 Doubles, 84 RBI’s, 66 Runs, with an OPS of 1.191.

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The Twins Draft NC State’s Logan Whitaker in the 19th Round

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The Minnesota Twins drafted NC State Pitcher Logan Whitaker in the 19th Round of hte 2024 MLB Draft, with the 578th overall pick.

Whitaker tossed a total of 205.1 innings pitched over three seasons in an NC State uniform, finishing with a 10-8 record, 210 strikeouts and a 4.78 ERA in 46 career appearances with 38 starts.

The right-hander overcame multiple injuries during his Wolfpack career to become a weekend staple for the Pack. In 2024, Whitaker made 13 pitching appearances with nine starts, finishing with a 3-1 record over 59.0 innings pitched despite missing a month due to illness. He ranked third on the team with 69 strikeouts, sporting a 69-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio. The veteran right-hander allowed just 0.37 walks per inning and limited opposing batters to a .252 batting average against him.

Whitaker dominated opposing hitters in NC State’s fourth journey to the Men’s College World Series in program history, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.60 over 17.1 postseason innings. He led all NC State pitchers with 23 strikeouts in the NCAA Tournament and held opposing hitters to just a .161 batting average against him. In his final collegiate outing, he tossed 7.0 innings of relief in a College World Series game against Florida, allowing just two hits and one run with a career-high 10 strikeouts.

In 2023, Whitaker was the Wolfpack’s primary Friday night starter, making 15 starts in 16 appearances. He finished the season with a 5-3 record, 4.29 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, tossing 79 strikeouts over 79.2 innings pitched. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina native earned ACC Pitcher of the Week honors on May 22, 2023, after tossing seven scoreless innings while allowing just one hit with six strikeouts in his final regular season start of his redshirt junior season.

In 2022, Whitaker made 14 starts and 17 total appearances, logging 62 strikeouts over 66.2 innings pitched. He finished his redshirt sophomore season with a 4.73 ERA and notched his first career win against Longwood on Feb. 23, 2022, spinning five shutout frames.

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