NC State starts the 2019 season with a three-game sweep over Bucknell.

NC State (3-0) carried its momentum from winning its first game Friday afternoon over Bucknell (0-3) with wins on Saturday and Sunday, starting the 2019 season with a sweep.

SATURDAY: NC State 14, Bucknell 2

Starting later than anticipated due to a rain delay, the Wolfpack scored in seven of its eight innings at the plate to overpower the Bison Saturday afternoon, 14-2.

After sophomore left-handed pitcher Canaan Silver started the game, junior right-hander Alec Barger (1-0, 0.00 ERA) relieved him after the southpaw surrendered both Bison runs on five hits and a walk in four innings of work while striking out three batters. Barger shut out Bucknell’s offense in his three frames on the mound, allowing only one hit with a strikeout to his credit. Redshirt freshman righty Cameron Cotter pitched the final two innings.

Sophomore left fielder led off the bottom of the first with a triple before coming home on junior shortstop Will Wilson’s two-run homer, giving the Wolfpack the early advantage. One inning later, sophomore left fielder Jonny Butler drove in two runs of his own when he doubled to plate sophomore second baseman David Vazquez and freshman third baseman Vojtech Mensik who both reached base on two-out walks.

The Wolfpack tacked on two more runs in the third inning. Sophomore catcher Patrick Bailey led off with a walk. Senior first baseman Evan Edwards reached on an error that allowed both runners to get into scoring position. Freshman designated hitter Marek Chlup reached on an error, driving Bailey home. Two batters later, sophomore right fielder Devonte Brown grounded out to plate Edwards.

With Bucknell scoring two runs in the top of the fourth, the Pack responded by bringing in three runs in the bottom half of the inning. After Butler and Wilson reached base with one out on a beanball and walk respectively, Bailey tripled to send both runners in to score. Edwards singled in the next at-bat to drive in Bailey.

Wilson drove in the Pack’s only fifth-inning run with a single that plated Mensik who led off with a base hit of his own. State’s offense still continued to produce with two runs in the sixth. The Wolfpack managed to load the bases with one out with a walk to junior right fielder Lawson McArthur, a single for freshman center fielder Tyler McDonough, and a walk to Vazquez. Mensik singled down the left-field line to drive McArthur and McDonough home. Vazquez would end the inning stranded at third.

State’s final runs of the game came in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore designated hitter Terrell Tatum reached base on a two-out single followed by a walk to McArthur. McDonough then singled into center to plate Tatum. Vazquez next reached base on an error, bringing McArthur in to score.

SUNDAY: NC State 12, Bucknell 8

Finding itself behind for the first time all season, the Wolfpack rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh inning in the series finale against the Bison to secure the sweep Sunday afternoon, 12-8.

Sophomore southpaw Nick Swiney got the call to start the game but left after giving up three runs in 2-2/3 innings. Sophomore righty Reid Johnston picked up where Swiney left off and shut out Bucknell in 3-1/3 frames, striking out four batters in his time pitching.

Junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Blake followed, but he was relieved by junior left-hander Kent Klyman (1-0, 7.71 ERA) after giving up three runs on three hits while only retiring one batter. Klyman picked up the win despite giving up two runs in his 2-1/3 innings on the mound.

Redshirt sophomore right-hander Dalton Feeney made his second appearance of the series late in the ninth inning and shut the door on the Bison to secure his second career save.

The Wolfpack struck first with four runs in the bottom of the second. McDonough reached base on a one-out single followed by a walk to junior designated hitter Brad Debo. Two batters later, Tatum singled to drive McDonough home. Mensik next tripled to drive both Debo and Tatum home. Butler then plated Mensik with a single.

Bucknell answered the Pack’s four-run inning with three runs in the top of the third. The teams were held scoreless until the Bison took the lead in the top of the seventh inning with four runs scored in the frame. State answered with a seven-run rally in the home half.

After a groundout to start the inning, Edwards hit his second home run of the season to cut the Bison’s lead to two. Bailey and McDonough both reached base afterward with a walk and a beanball respectively. Debo followed with an RBI single to plate Bailey. After Vazquez walked to load the bases, McArthur hit a grand slam that gave the Wolfpack the lead yet again.

Mensik followed the home run with a double and later scored on an Edwards single. The Wolfpack’s final run came in the next inning when McDonough hit a solo shot to right field for his first collegiate homer.

The Wolfpack will next play on Tuesday as NC State travels to Elon to take on the Phoenix. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

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