Evan Edwards’ six-RBI performance catalyzes the Wolfpack offense over visiting Elon.
After a three-game sweep on the road over Miami, No. 1 NC State (24-1, 8-1 ACC) continued its hot streak with a dominant victory over Elon (13-12, 2-1 CAA) Tuesday evening at Doak Field, 21-2.
Senior first baseman Evan Edwards led the way for the Wolfpack with a 2-for-2 performance at the plate, leaving the game in the fourth inning after three plate appearances. The Greensboro, N.C. native drove in a career-high six runs with a double, a home run, a walk, and two runs scored.
Junior right-handed pitcher Alec Barger (2-0, 3.45 ERA) struck out a career-high 10 Phoenix batters in five innings of work, giving up two runs, one earned, on six hits. After freshman right-hander Andrew Tillery struck out three batters in his lone inning of work, junior righty Mathieu Gauthier picked up his first save of the year after holding Elon to one hit in three shutout innings, striking out six batters in the process.
The Wolfpack scored three runs in the bottom of the first to kick off the game’s scoring. Junior shortstop Will Wilson drew a one-out walk, and sophomore catcher Patrick Bailey singled. Edwards followed with his eighth home run of the season.
State’s scoring exploded in the bottom of the second as seven runs came in to score for the Pack. Sophomore second baseman David Vazquez led off with a walk. Junior right fielder Lawson McArthur was then hit by a rogue Elon pitch. Two batters later, sophomore left fielder Jonny Butler reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Vazquez to score but removed McArthur from the base paths. Wilson followed with a two-run shot for his seventh homer of the year.
Bailey followed Wilson’s home run with a single before back-to-back walks to Edwards and freshman center fielder Tyler McDonough to load the bases. Junior designated hitter Brad Debo drew an RBI walk to bring Bailey home, and Edwards scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch. Vazquez then singled to bring McDonough and Debo home.
After the Phoenix scored its first run in the top of the third inning, three more runs came in for the Wolfpack in the bottom half of the third. Freshman third baseman Vojtech Mensik led off the inning by getting beaned. Butler followed with a walk. Two batters later, Bailey walked to load the bases for Edwards who doubled all three runners home.
Elon managed to bring another run home in the top of the fourth, but NC State answered with two more runs in the home half of the frame. Vazquez led off by drawing a full-count walk. Two batters later, Mensik singled. Butler then walked to load the bases for Wilson who drove in Vazquez and Mensik with a single up the middle.
The Pack hung two more runs up on the scoreboard in the fifth. Debo reached on a one-out walk. Vazquez followed with an infield single. McArthur then doubled Debo home. Mensik followed with an RBI groundout, allowing Vazquez to score. In the following inning, freshman outfielder Marek Chlup led off with a pinch-hit home run, his first in a Wolfpack uniform.
The final NC State runs came in the seventh inning as three Wolfpack players crossed home plate in the frame. Redshirt junior infielder Dillon Cooper led off with a walk. McArthur and Mensik followed by reaching on a single and a beanball respectively. Sophomore infielder Devonte Brown followed Mensik’s beanball with a beanball of his own which brought Cooper home. Two batters later and with the Pack without the designated hitter role, McArthur and Mensik scored on a two-run single by Gauthier.
The Wolfpack returns to action Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in Greensboro as NC State takes on North Carolina A&T at First National Bank Field.