For the first time in school history, the Wolfpack sweeps Miami in Coral Gables.
No. 1 NC State (23-1, 8-1 ACC) traveled south to Coral Gables, Fla. for its first ACC road series of the season. Though thoroughly tested, the Wolfpack emerged victorious throughout the course of the weekend, sweeping Miami (15-9, 3-6 ACC).
FRIDAY: NC State 6, Miami 3
The Pack started the series with a five-run fifth inning that propelled the team to the win Friday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field, 6-3.
Junior right-handed pitcher and reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week Jason Parker got the call to start on the mound but was relieved by sophomore left-hander Evan Justice after giving up two of the Hurricanes’ three runs on five hits and two walks in four innings, striking out two batters in the process. Justice gave up two walks and struck out one Miami batter in his lone inning of work.
Freshman righty Baker Nelson (1-0, 4.91 ERA) picked up his first collegiate win after two shutout innings in which he struck out two and only allowed one hit. Junior southpaw Kent Klyman surrendered a run in his 2/3 inning after Nelson’s tenure before redshirt sophomore right-hander Dalton Feeney shut the door on the Canes in the final 1-1/3 innings to pick up the save.
State struck first in the fifth inning, and as was alluded to, it struck hard with five runs in the frame. After two strikeouts to start the inning, sophomore catcher Patrick Bailey reached base with a two-out double down the left-field line. Senior first baseman Evan Edwards followed with a double of his own, driving Bailey home. Freshman center fielder Tyler McDonough then singled, allowing Edwards to score. After a single by junior designated hitter Brad Debo, sophomore third baseman David Vazquez, a product of Hialeah, Fla.; homered for his second home run of the season.
Two innings later, Bailey led off the top of the seventh with a double. Two batters after that, McDonough doubled to bring Bailey home for the final NC State run of the game.
SATURDAY: NC State 7, Miami 6
Staving off a Hurricane comeback, the Pack managed to preserve the series win Saturday evening, 7-6.
Sophomore right-hander Reid Johnston (3-0, 2.93 ERA) picked up the win after striking out six Miami batters in 5-2/3 innings. The Enfield, N.C. native allowed two runs on six hits before giving way to sophomore southpaw Nick Swiney who gave up three of the Canes’ four ninth-inning runs in his 2-2/3 frames of work. Despite pitching the night before, Feeney was called upon to pitch the final 2/3 inning, earning the save despite surrendering one run in the process.
After Miami plated one run in the bottom of the first, the Pack scored three runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead. Sophomore left fielder Jonny Butler led off with a single. Two batters later, Bailey singled. Edwards followed with his seventh home run of the season as Butler and Bailey crossed the plate on the four-bagger.
With the Canes held in check, State added two more runs in the sixth. After a strikeout to start the inning, Wilson and Bailey reached on back-to-back singles. Two batters later, McDonough singled and moved to third on a Miami error as Wilson and Bailey scored on the play with Bailey’s run coming as a result of said error. The final NC State run came in the ninth as Wilson drilled a solo shot out of the park for his sixth homer of the year.
SUNDAY: NC State 6, Miami 4
Rallying for four runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Pack secured the series sweep over Miami Sunday afternoon, 6-4.
Getting the call to start on his birthday, junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Blake allowed one run on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts to his credit in 1-1/3 innings. Sophomore southpaw Canaan Silver succeeded him with three shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while recording a strikeout.
Redshirt senior righty Nolan Clenney recored two outs while facing only one batter before Justice and Nelson combined to give up two runs in two innings with Justice striking out two batters and Clenney and Nelson each recording one strikeout.
Sophomore left-hander David Harrison surrendered one run on two hits in 2/3 inning before junior right-hander Michael Bienlien (3-1, 3.00 ERA) picked up the win by shutting down the Miami offense in the final 1-1/3 innings.
Not wasting any time, the Pack struck first with a run in the top of the first inning. Butler led off with a double. Two batters later, Bailey singled Butler home. Miami would plate a run in the second to tie the game until the Pack struck again in the sixth.
McDonough reached on a two-out single before scoring on a Debo double. After Miami tied the game with a run in the seventh, the Hurricanes plated two more runs in the eighth before the Wolfpack’s ninth-inning rally.
Vazquez reached on an error with one out in the top of the ninth. Junior outfielder Lawson McArthur, batting for redshirt junior utility player Dillon Cooper, followed with a double that brought Vazquez home. Freshman catcher/outfielder Luca Tresh, pinch-hitting for freshman third baseman Vojtech Mensik, then singled before getting replaced on the base paths by sophomore infielder J.T. Jarrett.
Butler followed with an RBI single, plating McArthur. Wilson then reached on a Miami error, allowing Jarrett to score. Bailey walked afterward to load the bases. Two batters later, McDonough reached on an RBI walk that brought Butler home.
The Wolfpack returns to action Tuesday evening as NC State hosts Elon. First pitch from Doak Field is set for 6 p.m.
Photo by J.C. Ridley