In a game that ended a day after it started, the Wolfpack falls short of winning its first game in the Greenville Regional.
GREENVILLE, N.C. — NC State (42-18) entered the 2019 NCAA Baseball Tournament with high hopes as the No. 2 seed in the Greenville Regional. However, the Wolfpack now finds itself in the loser’s half of the bracket after Campbell (36-19) defeated State at Clark-LeClair Stadium, 5-4.
The game began Friday at noon before a rain delay that started around 4 p.m. caused the contest, which was heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, to continue at noon Saturday.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Reid Johnston (6-2, 3.71 ERA) got the call to start but picked up the loss after allowing all five Campbell runs, all unearned, in his four innings of work. Sophomore left-hander Nick Swiney followed with four hitless innings in which he struck out seven Camel batters before getting pulled after an hour-long lightning delay. Redshirt freshman righty Cameron Cotter and sophomore southpaw Evan Justice followed to pitch during the ninth inning.
After a pair of NC State fielding blunders caused four runs to score for Campbell in the first inning, the Wolfpack scored its first three runs in the bottom of the third. Sophomore second baseman J.T. Jarrett led off with a single. Redshirt junior third baseman Dillon Cooper and sophomore left fielder Jonny Butler both reached on errors afterward as Jarrett scored on Butler’s batted ball. Two batters later, sophomore catcher Patrick Bailey plated Cooper with a sacrifice fly. Senior first baseman Evan Edwards then singled to drive Butler home.
With Campbell’s pitching holding the Wolfpack at bay and the Camels tacking on another run in the fourth, the final State run didn’t come until the bottom of the eighth. Butler led off with a solo shot to right field, giving the Channahon, Ill. native his third home run of the season.
The Pack managed to get a runner in scoring position after the aforementioned lightning delay that began immediately after Butler’s bomb as well as another one the next day in the bottom of the ninth, but Campbell staved off the rally to pick up the win.
The Wolfpack returns to action Sunday afternoon at noon to face the loser of Saturday’s matchup between regional host East Carolina and fourth-seeded Quinnipiac.