NC State Baseball Edges Elon, 14-13
Feb. 19, 2002
RALEIGH, N.C. - Sophomore Colt Morton's high bouncer into left field scored Brian Wright with the winning run as NC State overcame a four-run deficit in the final two innings to edge Elon 14-13 at Doak Field on Tuesday. NC State improved to 4-3 with the victory, while Elon fell to 1-1.
Wright, whose winning run was his fourth of the day, had four RBIs on a grand-slam home run and drew four walks to lead the Wolfpack. Ross Cook led the Phoenix, going 3-for-5 at the plate, with three RBIs.
Mike Prochaska (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Wolfpack, going 4 2/3 innings while allowing only one hit and one earned run. Mike Fratoe (0-1) took the loss for Elon, pitching the final two-thirds of an inning, but yielding three hits and one unearned run.
The Phoenix put a two-spot on the board in the first inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Elon starter Whit Bryant and catcher Wes Miller. However, Wolfpack starter Kyle Stephenson got third baseman Morgan Frazier to fly out to center to end the inning.
Elon extened its lead when shortstop Brian Ingram laced a two-out single to left in the top of the second inning, scoring Cook, who led off the frame with a double.
The Wolfpack fired back in the bottom of the inning. Designated hitter J.R. Riley blasted a long home run to left field, his second of the season, to bring NC State within a run at 3-2. The Wolfpack tied the score one batter later when Orvella hit an RBI single to third. Orvella advanced to second on Frazier's throwing error, and Jeremy Dutton walked to load the bases. That set the table for Wright's grand slam, which made the score 7-3 in favor of NC State. The shot was Wright's third home run of the season.
The Wolfpack added another run in the bottom of the third on an RBI-single to left by center fielder Marc Maynor, scoring Riley who reached on a single to left.
Elon tallied seven runs in its half of the fourth inning to take a 10-8 lead, chasing Stephenson. Ingram started the scoring with a two-run double to left field to make the score 8-5. The Phoenix tacked on another run when first baseman Tim Swenson flied out to center field, scoring second baseman Gary Morris from third on the sacrifice fly. Bryant then singled to center for his second RBI of the game and later scored on reliever Daryl Minugh's wild pitch. Cook closed the scoring with a two-run single to right, scoring Miller and Frazier.
Swenson extended the Phoenix advantage in the top of the fifth with a two-run double to left, scoring Tuttle and Morris to give Elon a 12-8 lead. Cook made it a five-run lead for Elon on a solo home run to left-center field, the first of his career, off Prochaska in the top of the sixth. That was the only hit Prochaska allowed.
Hicks sliced the Elon lead to four in the bottom of the sixth inning when he dropped a double off Elon pitcher Braeden Baldwin just in front of center fielder Jason Tuttle. The hit scored Wright, who had reached on his sixth walk of the season and third of the game.
After a scoreless seventh inning for both squads, the Wolfpack scored four runs in the eighth, all with two men out, to knot the score at 13-all. NC State took advantage of two hit batters and two walks by Elon relief pitcher Matt Garner, in addition to an RBI-double by Hicks to get back into the game. The tying run came on a bases-loaded single by Maynor off Fratoe to drive in Morton.
Following a 1-2-3 top of the ninth by Prochaska, Dutton led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to right and later advanced to third when Fratoe's errant pick-off attempt sailed down the right-field line and into foul territory. Fratoe walked Wright and Matt Butler intentionally to load the bases before Morton provided the game-ending heroics.
Hicks went 3-for-6 with three doubles on the afternoon, driving in three runs, while Riley and Maynor had two RBI's apiece for the Wolfpack.
NC State faces Coppin State on Friday at Doak Field at 3:00 p.m. in the first game of a three-game set.