March 2, 2012
NOTE: SATURDAY'S START TIME HAS BEEN MOVED UP TO 10:30 A.M. ET DUE TO ANTICIPATED WEATHER.
WILMINGTON, N.C. - NC State ripped open a 3-0 game with five runs in the fifth thanks to Matt Bergquist's two-out triple on his way to a 4-for-5 outing, storming past UNC Asheville 10-1 in Friday's opener at Brooks Field.
Bergquist leapt out of a season-opening dry spell, going 4-for-5 with that two-RBI triple and a run scored to lead the Wolfpack (7-2). Chris Diaz drove in three runs during a 2-for-4 day that included a successful squeeze play with two outs in the first. Ryan Mathews had a pair of RBIs in his 2-for-5 performance.
Brett Austin and Andrew Ciencin each had a pair of hits as Austin went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Ciencin went 2-for3 with a run and a walk, and narrowly missed hitting his second homer of the year with a fly ball to the warning track in the second. Carlos Rodon made his second plate appearance of the year, pinch-hitting in the eigth for his second double of the season, this time to the gap in left center.
Starter Anthony Tzamtzis (1-0) went five shutout innings with three strikeouts for the win, surrendering three hits and walking one. Tzamtzis represents only the second Pack starter to record a win this season as State's pitchers are still adhering to a limited pitch count. Ryan Wilkins (1) picked up a save by throwing the final four innings, striking out four and walking none, allowing four hits and the lone earned run.
Dean Roland (2-1) started and took the loss for UNC Asheville (6-4) by giving up eight runs, all earned, on 10 hits over the first 4 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out four. UNC Asheville ran through an additional three pitchers, but Justin Hunt was the only one to allow runs as he gave up the final two, both earned, over three innings.
For the second game in a row, and fourth time in the last five games, NC State scored in the opening frame, driving in two runs to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Trea Turner led the game off with a walk, advancing two bases on an errant pick off attempt. Austin singled up the middle one pitch later to score Turner. Austin advanced to third after Ciencin singled through the left side and Danny Canela pushed both runners over with a grounder to first. Diaz's squeeze play came one out later to plate to the second run.
The Wolfpack tacked on another in the top of the second on Turner's groundout to the second baseman to score Bergquist. Bergquist came aboard with a single up the middle, one of his three shots over second base on the afternoon, and made it to second on a passed ball. Fincher moved him over to allow Turner's groundout to go as an RBI, making it 3-0.
In the fifth, State took control with five runs highlighted by Bergquist's triple off the wall in left center. Turner once again led off with a walk, but was put out when Austin hit into a fielder's choice in the next at-bat. Ciencin and Canela followed Austin with singles to center and right, respectively, loading the bases. With two outs, Diaz singled to right for a pair of RBIs. Mathews followed him with an RBI on a high chopper to the shortstop to keep the inning going, setting up Bergquist's bomb to the wall for the final two runs which extended the lead to 8-0.
The Pack struck again in the seventh when Mathews added his second RBI on a double into the corner in left to score Tarran Senay. In the eighth, another run came home as Grant Clyde drove in Carlos Rodon on back-to-back doubles into opposite gaps, Rodon's to left center and Clyde's to right center.
Asheville scored its only run in the bottom of the eighth when Jordan Lurie's lead off double paid off after a pair of groundouts to push him home.
NC State returns to Brooks Field for a split doubleheader, opening with UNC Asheville at 10:30 a.m. and wrapping up with UNC Wilmington immediately following game one. Radio coverage will air over the internet provided by 88.1 WKNC, and will stream for free on GoPack All-Access due to a conflict with women's basketball, fans can follow live updates on Twitter from @NCStateBaseball, and live stats will be available on GoPack.com.