March 16, 2012
Box Score | Box Score | Highlights
RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 19 NC State stretched its winning streak to four games, taking the series-opener against No. 24 Wake Forest, 9-5, behind a 4-for-5 performance from Chris Diaz Friday night at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Diaz rebounded from having his 14-game hit streak snapped on Tuesday at Elon with a 4-for-5 night featuring a double, two runs, and an RBI. Seven different players hit exactly one RBI for the Wolfpack (13-3, 3-1 ACC) on Friday.
Danny Canela represented the only other Pack player to go for multiple hits, one a double, scoring twice and driving in one on a 2-for-5 outing. Trea Turner’s only hit of the game went for extra bases, the freshman’s third double of the season. Turner also stole a pair of bases to improve to an ACC-leading 15-for-15 on the year.
Ethan Ogburn (2-1) navigated his way through the first 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, all earned, on six hits while striking out three and walking one. D.J. Thomas performed well in relief, pitching 2 1/3 scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the ninth and leaving the game with a save on the table. Thomas finished with three strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, both earned, on three hits. Chris Overman (2) relieved Thomas with the bases full in the ninth, hitting one batter and inducing a game-ending double play from the next.
Wake Forest (16-5, 3-1 ACC) starter Tim Cooney (3-2) endured the loss, surrendering eight runs, five earned, on nine hits, walking six and fanning four. Nate Jones gave up the only other run for Wake over 2/3 innings. Niko Spezial closed out the final two innings, holding the Pack hitless.
State jumped on top in the bottom of the second, taking a 2-0 lead on only one hit. Diaz hit the Pack’s first single, a chopper that glanced off the pitcher’s glove for an infield hit. Cooney walked the next three batters to score Diaz, and Jake Fincher hit a sac fly to right to plate the second.
With two outs in the bottom third, Canela flied to shallow left, but the ball dropped for a double when the shortstop and left fielder lost sight of the ball. Diaz followed him by legging out an infield hit, advancing to second and scoring Canela when the throw across bounced by Wake’s first baseman.
Wake’s Mac Williamson hit his fifth homer of the year, a solo shot to left center to make it 3-1 in the top fourth. In the bottom half, the Wolfpack responded by extending the lead to 5-1. Logan Ratledge reached third on a fly to shallow left that popped out of the fielder’s glove. The Deacs caught Ratledge in a rundown between third and home on Fincher’s grounder to the pitcher for the second out, but the play lasted long enough to get Fincher to second. Fincher stole third, and the catcher’s throw down missed the mark, sailing into left to score the run. Turner followed with a bases-empty double to the warning track in left center, and moved to third on a wild pitch. Diaz singled through the left side to score Turner, pushing the Pack advantage to 5-1.
Mark Rhine led off the fifth with a double down the left field line, scoring two batters later to make it 5-2 after a pair of grounders. Wake repeated that effort in the sixth, as Pat Blair led off with a double to left, and came home on consecutive groundouts to close the gap to 5-3.
State took control in the bottom of the sixth with four runs on three hits to storm ahead 9-3. Turner led off with a walk, then stole second and third on back-to-back pitches with one out. Wake tried to set up the double play by walking Andrew Ciencin, but Canela spoiled the plan by spraying a one-out single into left to score Turner. Diaz followed with a double, his fourth hit of the game, to score Ciencin and move Canela to third. Ryan Mathews came through with a bouncer past the second baseman to score Canela. Matt Bergquist put a cap on the inning with a sac fly to score Diaz.
Wake put the outcome in doubt with a late charge. Williamson led off with a stand-up double and scored one batter later on a single to right. Another single and a hit batsman loaded the bases with no outs. Thomas settled down, getting a swinging strikeout on a full count before leaving the game for Overman. Overman hit the first batter he faced, narrowing the margin to 9-5 with one away and the bases loaded. The next batter hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
NC State tangles with Wake Forest again Saturday at 2 p.m. The Wolfpack will take part in BaseBald, benefiting St. Baldrick’s Foundation. More information on the St. Baldrick’s Day game can be found by clicking HERE. Radio coverage for the game will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, fans can follow Twitter updates from @NCStateBaseball, and live stats will be available on GoPack.com.