NC State stumbles in the 2018 NCAA Raleigh Regional finale, ending the Wolfpack’s season.
Auburn (42-21) came out of the gates swinging hot bats as NC State’s (42-18) season came to a screeching halt Sunday evening at Doak Field with the Wolfpack losing, 15-7.
The Tigers scored in seven out of nine innings, including a five-run eighth innings. Meanwhile, the Pack put up three-spots in the fourth and eighth with a single run scored in the bottom of the ninth with the game out of reach.
Freshman left-hander David Harrison (1-4, 5.72 ERA) got the call to start against the Tigers, picking up the loss in a game filled with big hits from Auburn and critical miscues from the Wolfpack. Harrison left after giving up four runs, two earned, in 1-1/3 innings.
NC State brought four more pitchers to the mound over the course of the game: redshirt senior right-hander Joe O’Donnell, sophomore right-hander Michael Bienlien, redshirt freshman lefty Connor Centala, and freshman southpaw Nick Swiney. Auburn scored 11 runs on the tetrad of pitchers, but only five of them were earned. Bienlien recorded four strikeouts while O’Donnell set down three Tiger batters.
The Wolfpack got on the scoreboard in fourth after the Tigers had put up seven runs. Junior left fielder Brett Kinneman walked to start the innings, and after moving to second on a groundout, freshman catcher Patrick Bailey doubled to bring him home. Junior first baseman Evan Edwards followed with a single before senior right fielder Brock Deatherage tripled to drive both runners home.
After Auburn’s five-spot in the top of the eighth, State answered with three more runs in the home half of the inning. Bailey hit a one-out double before Edwards drew a walk to set up senior designated hitter Shane Shepard for a three-run home run, his fifth of the season.
State’s final run came in the bottom of the ninth. Senior center fielder Josh McLain started the inning with a double before getting replaced by junior pinch-runner Jack Conley. Three batters later, Bailey singled to plate Conley.
With Auburn advancing to the Super Regional round against the winner of the Gainesville Regional, the 2018 NC State baseball season is officially over.