The Wolfpack’s ninth-inning rally falls short as Virginia hangs on to win the series opener

No. 1 NC State (25-2, 8-2 ACC) drops the first game of its three-game series against visiting Virginia (16-10, 6-4 ACC) Friday evening at Doak Field, 4-3.

Junior right-handed pitcher Jason Parker (3-1, 2.08 ERA) picked up the loss after giving up all three Cavalier runs in his 4-1/3 innings of work, striking out four while allowing eight hits and three walks. Junior right-hander Andrew Blake shut out the Wahoos in the final 4-2/3 frames with six strikeouts and only four hits allowed.

After already surrendered four runs to the visitors, the Wolfpack plated its first run in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman third baseman Vojtech Mensik reached on a two-out walk following a walk and a double play. After a walk to sophomore left fielder Jonny Butler, Mensik scored on a single by junior shortstop Will Wilson.

Freshman outfielder Luca Tresh sparked the Pack’s final spurt of offense in the bottom of the ninth. After a leadoff double for sophomore second baseman David Vazquez, the Safety Harbor, Fla. native drilled his second home run of the season over the wall in right-center. However, a strikeout and back-to-back pop-outs killed the rally, securing the win for the Cavaliers.

The Wolfpack returns to action Saturday evening for the second game against the Wahoos. First pitch from Doak Field is set for 6:30 p.m.

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