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    Baseball Defeats Fifth-Ranked Tar Heels, 5-4
    Andrew Ciencin drove in the game-winning run in the fifth inning Friday as NC State defeated North Carolina 5-4.
    Andrew Ciencin drove in the game-winning run in the fifth inning Friday as NC State defeated North Carolina 5-4.

    April 15, 2011

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    RALEIGH, N.C. -- Pratt Maynard and Andrew Ciencin combined to drive in three runs in the fifth inning Friday to lift NC State past fifth-ranked North Carolina 5-4 in the first game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Doak Field at Dail Park.

    The Wolfpack entered the bottom of the fifth trailing 4-2 after a four-run second inning by the Tar Heels. Matt Bergquist reached on a one-out infield single and Chris Diaz worked UNC starter Patrick Johnson for a walk to put runners on first and second. Brett Williams bunted the runners to second and third, and Maynard hit a sharp grounder up the first-base line. The ball caromed off the bag and over the head of first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki. Maynard legged the hit out for a double, driving in Bergquist and Diaz, then alertly went to third when second baseman Tommy Coyle threw away right fielder Seth Baldwin's peg back to the infield. Ciencin followed with a single through the left side of the infield to score Maynard with the go-ahead run.

    The Wolfpack, which improved to 19-16 overall and 6-10 in the ACC, jumped to the early lead with a pair of first-inning runs off Johnson (6-1), whose nine-game winning streak was snapped with the loss. Brett Williams led off with a single to center field and stole second. With two outs, Johnson hit Harold Riggins with a pitch, and Tarran Senay doubled down the right-field line, scoring both runners to stake starter Cory Mazzoni to a 2-0 lead.

    As has been the case much of the season, Mazzoni spun out in the second inning, allowing four Tar Heel runs on three hits and a pair of walks. Ben Bunting's bases-loaded triple put North Carolina in front 3-2, and Levi Michael singled to center to score Bunting and make it 4-2.

    Mazzoni (3-4) locked in after that, setting down 20 of the next 24 UNC batters following Michael's single, including 11 in a row at one point. He worked seven innings and allowed four runs on six hits. He struck out seven, snapping his streak of three consecutive games with 10 strikeouts or more.

    Mazzoni has allowed 33 runs in 62 1/3 innings this season, and 14 of the 33 runs scored in the second inning.

    D.J. Thomas came in to pitch for NC State in the eighth and gave up a double to Colin Moran and hit Wierzbicki with a pitch to put runners on first and second with none out. Thomas struck out Chaz Frank, then turned the ball over to Chris Overman, who struck out Tom Zengel and Baldwin to end the inning. Overman worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out one, to record his third save of the season.

    The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for North Carolina, which dropped to 30-6 overall and 12-4 in the ACC.

    The Wolfpack and Tar Heels will play the second game of this three-game series on Saturday, weather permitting. Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., but please check regularly during the afternoon for updates of possible changes in the game time.

    Saturday's game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and will be available on-line with streaming video on's All-Access package. Live stats will be available on Gametracker. Just click the Gametracker icon on the baseball schedule page on

    As always, please visit regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.



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