Baseball Rallies Past Duke In ACC Opener
March 11, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. — Terran Senay’s two-out single in the top of the ninth inning drove in Pratt Maynard with the go-ahead run Friday night as NC State came from behind to defeat Duke 4-3 in the first game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Chris Overman (2-0), who pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning in relief of starter Cory Mazzoni, got the win. Grant Sasser loaded the bases with two down in the bottom of the ninth but escaped with his second save.
The pitching star of the game, however, was Mazzoni, who settled down after a wobbly second inning to toss a gem, yet did not figure in the decision. Duke sent nine men to the plate in the second and scored three runs, two of them unearned and two of them on bases-loaded walks. Mazzoni finally got out of the inning by retiring Jeff Kremer on a grounder to shortstop, then set down 15 of 19 Duke batters before handing the ball to Overman to start the bottom of the eighth. Mazzoni worked seven innings and allowed three runs, one earned, on six hits. He struck out eight and walked four. All three runs and three of the four walks came in the second inning.
Duke starter Chase Bebout also deserved a better fate. He dazzled the Wolfpack lineup through five innings, allowing just one hit and three walks, and striking out 10 before running into trouble in the sixth. Andrew Ciencin led off the top of the sixth with a shot off the railing atop the wall in left field. It looked like a home run but stayed in the park, and left fielder Anthony D’Allesandro held Ciencin to a single. Maynard then crushed a ball flush off Bebout’s right forearm. The ball ricocheted all the way to left field on the fly for a hit, putting runners on first and second and sending Bebout to the training room for x-rays.
Ben Grisz came in to pitch for Duke and walked Danny Canela and Senay to force in Ciencin with the Wolfpack’s first run of the game. Grisz then hit Brett Williams with a pitch to force in Maynard and trim the Blue Devil lead to 3-2.
The Wolfpack tied the game with an unearned run in the top of the seventh when John Gianis reached on an error by second baseman Marcus Stroman, stole second, went to third on a groundout by Ciencin, and strolled home on Maynard’s first double of the game, a line drive to the wall in right-center.
After driving in the tying run with a double, Maynard got the winning rally started with his second double of the game, this one to the wall in left-center off reliever Mark Lumpa (0-2). Harold Riggins walked to put runners on first and third, and Senay’s two-out looper to center drove in Maynard with the winning run.
Sasser struck out D’Allesandro to start the bottom of the ninth, but Riggins bobbled Chris Marconcini’s grounder to first for an error. Jordan Betts forced Marconcini at second with a grounder to shortstop, but Kremer and Will Piwinica-Worms walked to load the bases, putting the potential winning run in scoring position. Sasser finally wriggled off the hook by getting David Perkins to ground to second baseman Antonio Alvarez, who forced Piwinica-Worms for the final out.
NC State and Duke will play the second game of this weekend’s three-game ACC series on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and will be available 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, please visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.