RALEIGH, N.C. — No. 11 NC State (2-1) squandered a strong start Tuesday afternoon versus UNCG (3-1), allowing the Spartans to snatch the victory at Doak Field, 16-13.
Despite the loss, junior first baseman Austin Murr and sophomore catcher Luca Tresh catalyzed a potent Wolfpack lineup that looked poised to secure the win. Murr ended the evening with a 5-for-6 clip with a double, one run batted in, and three runs scored. Tresh’s performance included a 4-for-5 showing at the plate, one double, his second home run of the season, four RBI, and two runs scored.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Chris Villaman started on the mound for the Pack. The previously announced Sunday starter for the canceled series versus VMI, the High Point, N.C. native dominated in his pitch-count limited outing with five strikeouts and only one hit allowed in his three-inning tenure.
Following Villaman’s performance, the wheels fell off for State’s bullpen, starting with freshman right-hander Matt Willadsen who allowed four runs, three earned, in 1-1/3 innings. Sophomore righty Andrew Tillery then allowed three runs, two earned, without recording an out. Two innings of relief from junior southpaw Canaan Silver, but the Nebo, N.C. native allowed four UNCG runs before redshirt junior righty Dalton Feeney joined Tillery in the no-out club, surrendering two runs.
A slight reprieve came when junior lefty David Harrison pitched a scoreless outing, recording two strikeouts. Senior southpaw Kent Klyman (1-1, 6.35 ERA) picked up the loss with three runs allowed, two earned, on one hit and two walks despite striking out three batters. Sophomore right-hander Baker Nelson closed out the Pack’s pitching with one hit and one strikeout.
State’s offensive production began with four runs in the first inning. Murr led off with a single, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore third baseman Tyler McDonough then walked. Tresh plated Murr with a base hit before junior left fielder Jonny Butler brought everyone home on a three-run homer.
Three more insurance runs came in the fourth inning. Junior second baseman J.T. Jarrett started the frame with a base hit through the left side. Two batters later, sophomore shortstop Vojtech Mensik bunted him to second base. Murr followed with an RBI single to bring Jarrett home. After a McDonough double, Tresh drove Murr and McDonough in on a double of his own.
The Spartans capitalized on three of NC State’s pitchers for seven runs in the top of the fifth before the Pack answered with three runs in the bottom half. After a leadoff single for Butler, junior center fielder Terrell Tatum put State ahead with a two-run homer to center field. Jarrett followed with a double and scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice by Mensik.
Tresh drilled a home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Butler got beaned in the next plate appearance, stole second base, and advanced to third on a botched pickoff attempt before scoring on a passed ball. After UNCG took the lead thanks to a six-run seventh inning, the final Wolfpack run came in the seventh when Murr, who reached on a one-out double and moved to third on a wild pitch, scored on a sacrifice fly by Butler. The Spartans tacked on three runs in the ninth while State’s bats fell quiet in the final two innings.
The Wolfpack opens conference play on Friday as Georgia Tech comes to Raleigh for a three-game series. First pitch for the series opener at Doak Field is set for 3 p.m.