RALEIGH, N.C. — With Friday’s win already in the bag, No. 7 NC State (8-0) rounded out its series with Quinnipiac (1-5) at Doak Field with a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
Game 1: NC State 12, Quinnipiac 10 (10 innings)
Trailing for the first time all season, the Wolfpack clawed back from an early deficit to force extra innings before winning on a walk-off, two-run home run, 12-10.
After entering the game in the top of the seventh inning as a defensive replacement, sophomore LuJames Groover, III drilled his first homer wearing the red and white to cap off a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. The Morrow, Ga. product also notched a two-run double in the eighth inning when State tied the game after entering the frame down by five runs.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Willadsen started on the mound for the Pack but surrendered six runs on seven hits and three walks in 3-2/3 innings. Despite striking out six batters, Willadsen left in favor of freshman right-hander Carson Kelly who gave up three runs on three hits and one walk with three strikeouts in 2-1/3 innings.
After sophomore southpaw John Miralia hurled 2/3 inning, junior righty Baker Nelson pitched the next 1-1/3 frames, giving up one run on one hit and one walk, striking out three in his tenure. Sophomore left-hander Chris Villaman (1-0, 0.00 ERA) threw two clean innings to pick up the game, striking out four of the six batters he faced.
Redshirt junior third baseman Josh Hood put the first NC State run on the board with the Bobcats already ahead by six in the bottom of the fourth. The former Penn Quaker drilled the first pitch he saw over the wall in left field for his first homer as a member of the Wolfpack. One inning later, freshman first baseman Tommy White clobbered his eighth home run of the season, a two-run shot to right with sophomore right fielder Noah Soles, who reached base with a leadoff single, also scoring on the play.
With Quinnipiac scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning, the Pack added two runs after the stretch. Senior center fielder Devonte Brown reached base on a one-out walk. Two batters later, sophomore designated hitter Dominic Pilolli followed suit. Hood then reached base on a Bobcat error in the outfield grass which allowed both Brown and Pilolli to score.
The Bobcats answered with another run in the top of the eighth inning, but State loudly responded with its five-run output in the home half. Freshman Will Marcy led off by drawing a walk. Freshman left fielder Chase Nixon added a single immediately after. Following a sacrifice bunt by freshman shortstop Payton Green to move the runners to second and third, Groover doubled Marcy and Nixon home. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Groover scored on another Quinnipiac error to tie the game.
With Villaman silencing the Bobcat offense, the Pack walked it off in the 10th inning. Green led off with a single, setting up Groover with the decisive blow over the left-field wall.
Game 2: NC State 16, Quinnipiac 4 (7 innings)
After having to rally back in the first game, the Pack made sure no such comeback was needed, decisively securing the sweep with the game-two win, 16-4.
Senior left-hander David Harrison (2-0, 3.12 ERA) picked up the win after striking out six batters in 5-2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk to the Bobcats. Freshman right-hander Jacob Halford, sophomore righty Justin Lawson, and sophomore southpaw Tristan Sipple combined to throw the final 1-1/3 innings before the game was called.
State tacked its first run of the game in the bottom of the first. White reached on an error, moved to second on a wild pitch, then advanced to third on a single by Groover. Two batters later, Pilolli got beaned to load the bases before White scored on a wild pitch by Quinnipiac starter Tate Copeland (0-1, 23.62 ERA).
Seven more runs came home in the bottom of the second inning for the Wolfpack. Marcy led off with a single. Junior catcher Jacob Godman followed by drawing a walk. Green then reached base on an error that resulted in Marcy scoring. After Godman scored on a wild pitch, Brown doubled to drive Green home. Brown advanced to third on an errant pitch before scoring on a fielder’s choice hit by Groover with White, beaned in the plate appearance prior, retired at second base. Back-to-back walks to Hood and Pilolli loaded the bases for sophomore left fielder Eddie Eisert who reached on an RBI walk. Batting for the second time in the inning, Marcy drove Hood home with an RBI fielder’s choice. After which, Godman drew his second walk of the frame before Pilolli scored on a Bobcat balk.
Two innings later, the Pack continued its scoring barrage with four more runs. Soles led off with a pinch-hit walk. Marcy followed with a single, moving Soles to third. Two batters later, Green drove Soles home with a sacrifice fly. After a single by Brown, White pummeled his ninth homer for the 2022 campaign.
The Pack matched its fourth-inning output with four more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Marcy and Godman reached on back-to-back Quinnipiac errors. After the pair of runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, Brown walked to load the bases. White drove Marcy home with a single to left-center field. Two batters later, Hood plated both Godman and Brown with a base hit to right field. Pilolli followed by bringing White home with a single through the right side, ending NC State’s scoring for the series.
The Wolfpack returns to action Wednesday, March 2 as the team travels to Buies Creek, N.C. to take on Campbell. First pitch from Jim Perry Stadium is slated for 5 p.m.