NC State Baseball Thumps Princeton, 8-2
March 16, 2003
ZEBULON, N.C. - Vern Sterry scattered seven hits, and David Hicks and Matt Camp had two hits apiece Sunday to lead NC State to an 8-1 victory over Princeton at Five County Stadium. The Wolfpack, which now has won 13 in a row, improved to 18-4 on the season, while the Tigers fell to 1-7.
Sterry (5-0) went the distance, allowing just two runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out a career-high 14. Princeton starter Erik Stiller (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out three.
NC State manufactured a run in the bottom of the third. Matt Camp stroked a one-out single to left, just past the diving shortstop Matt Becker, and stole second base. Jeremy Dutton worked Stiller for a walk, and he and Camp pulled a double steal to put runners on second and third with one down. Camp then distracted Stiller into a balk, sending Dutton to third and scoring Camp with the first run of the game.
Princeton tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth. Jon Miller led off with a double off the wall in right field, and scored on Tim Lahey's one-out single to right, just beating the throw from right fielder Joe Gaetti. Sterry pitched out of trouble by striking out Andrew Salini and Stephen Wendell to end the inning.
Lee Mezistrano led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk, went to third on David Hicks's single to right field, and Chad Orvella was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Adam Hargrave lofted a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Mezistrano, and Camp bunted for a single to reload the bases. Jeremy Dutton's groundout scored Hicks to give the Wolfpack a 3-1 lead.
Brian Kappel relieved Stiller to start the bottom of the fifth and was roughed up for three runs. Justin Riley drew a one-out walk and Mezistrano singled to left. Hicks drove in Riley with a single to right, with Mezistrano taking third on the play. Orvella walked to load the bases, and Hargrave laid down a perfect squeeze bunt for an RBI single, driving in Mezistrano for a 5-1 lead. Kappel uncorked a wild pitch to allow Hicks to score and make it 6-1.
The Pack added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth without a hit. Dutton and Gaetti led off with walks and moved up to second and third on Colt Morton's grounder to first. Reliver Matt Sullivan threw a wild pitch to score Dutton, and Mezistrano drove in Gaetti with a groundout to second base.
Princeton added one final run in the top of the ninth when Ryan Eldridge singled to center field with one down and pinch-hitter Paul Ackerman belted a booming doubled to the wall in dead center field.