Junior outfielder Brett Kinneman drives in six runs as the Wolfpack rallies to defeat N.C. A&T.
NC State (3-1) overcame an early 5-0 deficit to defeat North Carolina A&T (1-2) Tuesday afternoon at Doak Field, 9-7.
Junior left fielder Brett Kinneman propelled the Wolfpack to the win, finishing 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple, a home run, and six runs batted in. His RBI total for the game was one shy of his career-high he set against Elon on April 12, 2016.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Mathieu Gauthier started on the mound and gave up five runs, four earned, in five innings of work before freshman left-hander Evan Justice (1-0, 9.00 ERA) relieved him. Justice struck out four batters and came away with the win despite giving up two runs in two innings.
Junior righty Nolan Clenney added an inning of relief before sophomore southpaw Kent Klyman and redshirt senior right-hander Joe O’Donnell finished the ninth inning. With one away and runners on first and second, O’Donnell forced the game-ending double play to pick up his second save of the season.
The Aggies jumped ahead early on a first-inning, three-run home run off the bat of Dawnoven Smith. A&T added to its lead in the third on a two-run double by Jarrett Norman. However, the Wolfpack would even the score in the home half of the fourth.
Senior right fielder Brock Deatherage led off the inning with a bunt single, moving into scoring position on a throwing error. Two batters later, senior first baseman Shane Shepard singled to drive Deatherage home.
Redshirt sophomore second baseman Dillon Cooper followed with a single before senior center fielder Josh McLain reached base on a fielding error to load the bases. Kinneman then tied the game with a grand slam over the wall in right-center.
N.C. A&T broke the tie in the top of the seventh inning with another home run, this time a two-run shot off the bat of Adan Ordonez. However, NC State followed with four runs in the bottom half of the frame.
Freshman catcher Patrick Bailey reached on a leadoff single. Two batters later, junior pinch-hitter Evan Edwards singled before freshman J.T. Jarrett entered to pinch-run for him. Two batters later, Cooper drove Bailey home with a single.
In the next at-bat, McLain hit a pop fly to center field, but the Aggie center fielder dropped it, allowing McLain to reach base safely and Jarrett to tie the game. Kinneman then played the hero once again as he drilled a line drive off the wall in right-center for a triple. McLain and Cooper both scored on Kinneman’s three-bagger.
The Wolfpack will return to action on Wednesday as the team hosts Charlotte. First pitch from Doak Field is set for 3 p.m.