Feb. 25, 2011
Box score (PDF)
CONWAY, S.C. — Brett Williams and Chris Diaz combined to drive in nine runs, and the NC State bullpen, led by senior Rob Chamra, pitched five shutout innings Friday to lead the Wolfpack past Pacific 13-4 at Watson Stadium in the first round of Baseball at the Beach.
In its third trip to Baseball at the Beach in the last five years, NC State (2-2) now has won five of seven games in the tournament. The Pack has won all three of its Baseball at the Beach games played at Watson Stadium.
NC State broke open a 3-3 tie with three runs in the fourth inning, then added four more in the fifth. Diaz started the fourth-inning outburst with a two-run triple, then scored on a squeeze bunt by Matt Bergquist. Williams belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to give the Wolfpack a 10-4 lead.
Diaz and Williams did the bulk of the damage for the Pack. Diaz added a two-run single in the seventh inning and Williams’ home run came three innings after he drove in the Wolfpack’s first two runs of the game with a single in the bottom of the second. Counting Bergquist’s squeeze bunt, the bottom three spots in the batting order drove in 10 of NC State’s 13 runs.
The bullpen was more than up to the task of holding the lead. Vance Williams came in with a runner on second base and none out in the top of the fifth and worked a scoreless inning on one hit. Chamra (1-0) followed Williams to the mound to start the top of the sixth and worked three dominant frames, allowing three hits and striking out six. Chamra struck out four of five batters at one point, and retired seven of the last nine men he faced. Nick Rice pitched the ninth and allowed a harmless one-out single and nothing else. He struck out Aaron Hassel looking to end the game.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Jason Taasaas’s two-out RBI single in the top of the second, but Williams gave NC State a 2-1 lead with a one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the inning, driving in Danny Canela and Tarran Senay, who led off the inning with back-to-back walks off Pacific starter Marcus Pointer (0-2).
Allen Riley gave Pacific its second lead of the game with an RBI double in the top of the third, his second two-bagger in as many innings, but Andrew Ciencin tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the inning when he grounded into a run-scoring force play.
The Wolfpack’s three-run fourth made it 6-3. Daniel Johnston chopped a run off the lead with an RBI-double in the top of the fifth, but that was the last time the Tigers nicked the scoreboard. NC State still had seven runs to tally.
Chris Schaeffer drove in one run in the bottom of the fifth, and Williams greeted freshman reliever Chris Larsen with a towering three-run blast to left-center. With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Diaz chopped an opposite-field grounder into right field, driving in Canela and Schaeffer to give NC State a 12-4 lead.
Harold Riggins, hitting for Canela, drove in the game’s final run with a single to right field in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Pratt Maynard in from second base.
NC State will play California on Saturday at noon at BB&T Coastal Federal Field in Myrtle Beach. The game, originally slated for and 11:30 a.m. start, has been pushed back 30 minutes to 12 noon. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1), and the broadcast can be heard on-line on GoPack.com’s All-Access package. Live stats will be available on Gametracker. Just click the Gametracker icon on the baseball schedule page on GoPack.com.
As always, visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.
Wolfpack fact: Forty-eight NC State student-athletes have been awarded the Weaver-James Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship since 1997.