Feb. 24, 2012
CONWAY, S.C. - NC State overcame a first inning grand slam, tying and taking the lead with a three-run sixth, to put away George Mason 8-5 Friday at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field on the campus of Coastal Carolina, part of Baseball at the Beach.
Freshman Trea Turner submitted an incredible performance on the basepaths, going 3-for-4 with four stolen bases, two RBIs, two runs, and a walk. Turner moved his batting average up to .529 on the year, going 9-for-17 with seven RBIs and nine runs through five collegiate starts.
Tarran Senay went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Brett Austin made his fourth start of the year at catcher, going 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Freshman Jake Fincher tripled for an RBI in the second, both the first hit of his collegiate career and first triple of the season for the Wolfpack (4-1).
Zack Helgeson put George Mason (1-4) ahead in the top of the first with a grand slam, a hole the Pack eventually climbed out of after six innings of grit. Helgeson added another homerun in the eighth to finish 2-for-4 with five RBIs and two runs.
Ryan Wilkins (1-1) squared his record with five innings of two-hit ball, allowing one earned run on Helgeson's second homer of the game, striking out four and walking two. Starter Anthony Tzamtzis worked three innings, ending up with a no decision. Chris Overman (1) was successful in NC State's first save situation of the season, striking out two over one inning, giving up one hit and no runs. A.J. Johnson (0-2) took the loss for Mason after giving up six runs, five earned, through five innings.
George Mason hit paydirt in the top of the first, getting runners to second and third with no out. Tzamtzis retired the next two batters before walking the bases loaded. Helgeson drove a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left center for a first inning grand slam to make it 4-0 in favor of the Patriots.
State responded in the bottom half of the first, as Turner led off with a walk and stole second. Austin grounded to the pitcher, but the throw to first sailed wide, plating Turner to make it 4-1. The Wolfpack struck again in the bottom second when Fincher hit a two-out triple to score Senay. Turner executed a squeeze play to score Fincher to bring the Pack within one.
Tzamtzis left after three innings, giving up four earned runs on two hits, walking four and striking out four. The redshirt sophomore did not allow a hit in the second and third, but struggled at times with his command, walking three over that stretch. Wilkins allowed just one hit through his first four innings, and struck out the first three batters he faced in the sixth, letting the first aboard on a wild pitch third strike.
NC State took the lead in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a hard-earned rally via crafty baserunning and patience at the plate. Chris Diaz led off the inning with a single to right field, followed by a Ryan Mathews walk to get runners on first and second. Senay laid down a sac bunt, but reached safely on a throwing error by the pitcher, scoring Diaz to tie the game. After Senay stole second, Turner singled through the right side to score Mathews and move Senay to third. Austin's sac fly to center scored Senay to put State on top 6-4.
The Wolfpack added a run in the seventh on Senay's single to right to score Danny Canela. Canela led off the inning by rocketing a double over the center fielder's head.
In the eighth, Wilkins gave up just his second hit of the afternoon, but it came on Helgeson's second homer of the game, this time a solo shot to right center.
State got the run back in the bottom half of the eighth on Austin's second RBI of the game. Turner scored the run after singling to center and stealing second for the fourth time of the day.
Overman shut out the Patriots in the ninth to earn the save, but not before giving up a single and walking a hitter to set up some drama. With the tying run at the plate, Overman struck out the final two batters to seal the deal.
NC State heads back to the campus of Coastal Carolina for Saturday's 3 p.m. tilt with West Virginia. Fans can listen to radio coverage at 88.1 WKNC, follow live updates from @NCStateBaseball, and view live stats on GoPack.com.