NC State Downs East Carolina 5-4 On Camp's Ninth-Inning Hit
March 29, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. - Matt Camp's one-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in Caleb Mangum with the winning run Wednesday night as NC State recorded its third walk-off victory in its last nine games, defeating East Carolina 5-4 at Doak Field at Dail Park.
NC State's offense came alive when the chips were down and picked up a run in both the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game and eventually pick up the team's 19th consecutive midweek win, a streak that dates back to the 2004 season.
Mangum picked a perfect time to collect his first hit of the game when he led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a single past the Pirates third baseman Drew Schieber. Mangum cruised to second on Jonathan Diaz's sacrifice bunt, which brought up Camp, the Wolfpack's senior center fielder. Camp drove the 3-2 offering from East Carolina's Josh Dowdy to left center field for the game-winning RBI single. Camp's third hit of the game gave the Pack its first lead of the ballgame.
NC State pieced together a two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Aaron Bates got things going with a single through the right side. Brian Aragon followed by smoking a 1-2 pitch back up the middle, advancing Bates to second. Senior pinch-hitter Aaron Cone flared a double into no-man's land in left field, falling just beyond the reach of Pirate shortstop Dale Mollenhauer. Cone's hit brought Bates around to score from second.
The Pack trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, but finally broke through in the sixth when Ramon Corona belted an RBI single to center field scoring Camp. Bates then tagged a single to the left-center-field gap, moving Corona over to third and Bates up to second on the throw back to the infield. That brought ECU's Jason Neitz to the hill, replacing Pirates starter Shane Mathews, who shut the Pack out on four hits through five. Neitz's first pitch made its way to the backstop for a wild pitch, and Corona slid in safe at the plate to cut the Pirates' lead to 4-2. The Pack wasn't finished yet as Aragon drove in Bates with a sacrifice fly to center field to cut the lead to one at 4-3.
East Carolina tacked on another run in the fifth behind four walks by Wolfpack pitching in the inning. The Pack did not surrender a hit in the inning, but couldn't find the strike zone either. Ryan Tousley drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded to push across Dale Mollenhauer from third and make the score 4-0, East Carolina.
The Pirates chased NC State starting pitcher Jason Duncan in the top half of the third by plating two runs. Duncan finished up his 2 2/3-inning outing surrendering three runs, all of them earned, and allowed three hits. He gave up one walk and struck out three. Ryan Wood led off the inning with a walk and scored on Mollenhauer's one-out single through the right side. Schieber then scored on Jake Smith's sacrifice fly to right making the score 3-0. The RBI gave Smith a new career high with 32 batted in on the year.
Jamie Ray led off the ballgame by lining a triple down the first-base line just under the glove of a diving Brian Aragon in right field. The hit extended his hitting streak to seven straight games. He scored when Smith grounded out to short, giving ECU the 1-0 lead.
NC State improved their record to 22-8 on the season. Sam Walls picked up the win for the Wolfpack improving his record on the year to 3-0. Walls worked 2 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit. He hit one batter. East Carolina falls to 17-10 on the year with Josh Dowdy taking the loss and dropping to 0-1. Dowdy pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up one run on three hits. He walked one and did not record a strikeout.
NC State will return to action on Friday at Doak Field at Dail Park with the first game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series against Virginia. Game times for the three games are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.