The Wolfpack stumbles in the ACC Championship semifinal matchup as Georgia Tech steamrolls NC State to reach the title game.
DURHAM, N.C. — Third-seeded NC State (42-17) knew that with a win against second-seeded Georgia Tech (41-16), it would face its top rival North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship on Sunday.
However, the Yellow Jackets didn’t give the Wolfpack the chance for that matchup as Tech pummeled State Saturday evening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, 9-2.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jason Parker (4-3, 4.28 ERA) got the call to start on the mound but was pulled after giving up four runs on five hits and two walks in 4-2/3 innings. Parker struck out five batters before sophomore left-hander David Harrison relieved him. Harrison struck out three batters and allowed just two hits and a walk in his two-inning tenure.
Five more pitchers would follow for NC State with none recording more than one out. Redshirt freshman righty Cameron Cotter and sophomore southpaw Evan Justice surrendered two runs with one hit allowed each. Freshman right-hander Baker Nelson allowed one Yellow Jacket run on two hits with a strikeout. Sophomore left-hander Canaan Silver and junior right-hander Andrew Blake each pitched 1/3 inning to finish the Pack’s pitching.
Playing as the road team, the Pack scored its first run in the top of the third inning after a solo home run for Georgia Tech put the Jackets ahead in the bottom of the second. Sophomore left fielder Jonny Butler led off with a single. Two batters later, sophomore catcher Patrick Bailey tripled to drive Butler home.
Georgia Tech regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning before tacking on five more runs in the eighth. With the game well out of reach, State scored its final run in the top of the ninth. Butler walked with two outs before scoring on a double by junior shortstop Will Wilson.
With Georgia Tech facing off with North Carolina for the conference title, the Wolfpack is left waiting for its NCAA Tournament fate. The league will announce its 16 regional hosts Sunday evening starting at 8:30 p.m. The full tournament field will be unveiled on Monday starting at noon on ESPNU.
Photo by Liz Condo, Atlantic Coast Conference