The Wolfpack rebounds from a five-game losing streak to take down UNCW in a high-scoring midweek matchup.
No. 7 NC State (30-8, 12-6 ACC) jumped ahead on the scoreboard early and never looked back as the Wolfpack pummeled UNCW (20-18, 5-4 CAA) for a road win at Brooks Field, 14-7.
With the Pack on a bullpen day, redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Cameron Cotter (3-2, 2.70 ERA) picked up the win despite only pitching two innings after getting the call to start. Sophomore left-hander David Harrison followed Cotter’s pair of shutout innings with two scoreless frames of his own.
Junior righty Michael Bienlien, sophomore southpaw Evan Justice, and freshman righty Baker Nelson each followed with 2/3 inning each with Bienlien giving up three runs and Justice and Nelson surrendering a pair of Seahawk runs each.
After Nelson, sophomore left-hander Nick Swiney struck out six batters in two innings before junior righty Alec Barger recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth.
The Wolfpack wasted no time in scoring as State pushed three runs across in the top of the first inning. Junior shortstop Will Wilson drew a one-out walk before moving to third on a double by senior first baseman Evan Edwards and scoring on a single by freshman center fielder Tyler McDonough. Junior catcher Brad Debo followed with a walk. Sophomore second baseman David Vazquez then flew out to center, allowing Edwards to score on the sacrifice fly. Junior right fielder Lawson McArthur then walked to load the bases for sophomore designated hitter Terrell Tatum who then walked to drive McDonough home.
Two more runs came across in the next inning but with an unwanted consequence for the Pack. After Butler reached on a fielding error, Wilson crushed his 13th home run of the season over the wall. However, Wilson collided with the UNCW first baseman, forcing the Kings Mountain, N.C. product to leave the game.
The Seahawks plated their first three runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Pack answered with four runs in the top of the sixth inning. Freshman shortstop Vojtech Mensik, who had shifted from third base after Wilson left the game, led off the sixth with a walk before scoring on an RBI double from Butler. After Butler moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Wilson’s replacement in the batting order, sophomore second baseman J.T. Jarrett, Edwards was intentionally walked. Two batters later, Debo plastered a three-run homer to right-center. The UNCW offense would respond with a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth.
Continuing the offensive onslaught, the Wolfpack put four more runs on the board in the top of the eighth. Butler led off with a walk before Jarrett singled. Edwards then pulverized a 3-1 pitch to left for a three-run bomb, his 11th home run of 2019. McDonough reached base afterward with a walk. Three batters later, McArthur tripled to allow McDonough to cross the plate.
The final NC State run came in to score in the top of the ninth. Mensik reached second base on a dropped fly ball before reaching third on a passed ball on a third strike to Butler who reached first on the play. Jarrett then drove Mensik home on a sacrifice bunt.
The Wolfpack will return to action Thursday as NC State travels to Winston-Salem to take on Atlantic Division rival Wake Forest for a three-game series. First pitch from David F. Couch Ballpark is set for 6 p.m.