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    State Comes Up Short in 11-10 Slugfest
     
    Chris Diaz
    Chris Diaz
     

    April 20, 2012

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    RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 18 NC State ended up on the short end of a bruising 11-10 marathon in Friday’s series-opener against Boston College at Doak Field at Dail Park.

    The Wolfpack (24-12, 11-8 ACC) fought back from a three-run deficit in the seventh, then nearly rebounded from a four-run hole over the eighth and ninth. Instead, the Pack drops its second contest in a row, only the second time this season that State has lost consecutive games.

    “I’m proud of this team,” said NC State head coach Elliott Avent. “The way they fought tonight said a lot about their character. There aren’t too many teams that would continue to battle the way they did after [Boston College’s] five-run inning in the eighth.”

    Chris Diaz led the Pack in a 3-for-4 outing with two doubles, scoring three times, driving in one, and walking twice. Trea Turner went 2-for-6 with a double, one run, one RBI, and stole his 40th base of the season. Jake Fincher provided two RBIs in a 2-for-3 game with a run scored. Andrew Ciencin hit a double in a 2-for-3 perofrmance with a run and two walks. Ryan Mathews hit his sixth homer of the year for two of his three RBIs in a 1-for-6 effort with a run scored.

    State utilized five pitchers, but reliever Vance Williams (1-2) took the loss on 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, all eaned, on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Starter Ethan Ogburn lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks while striking out three. Chris Overman fanned five of the Pack’s 13 total strikeouts on the game over 1 2/3, surrendering one earned on two hits.

    Boston College (15-23, 6-13 ACC) went through six pitchers on the night. Reliever Matt Brazis (1-0) earned the win over 2/3 of an inning, allowing two runs, both earned, on two hits and one walk. Starter Taylor Lasko went the longest, giving up three runs, all earned, on seven hits and three walks over the first 5 1/3. John Gorman (2) claimed the save by getting the final batter of the game to fly out.

    “We’ll have to give our best effort tomorrow to come out and take two,” said Avent. “Tonight, our pitching just wasn’t there, but our guys will be ready to respond.”

    After three and a half scoreless innings to start the game, State grabbed a 1-0 lead on a pair of two-out hits in the bottom fourth. Ciencin legged out a double to center to set the table. Fincher followed by dropping a soft liner over the shortstop’s head to plate the game’s first run.

    Boston College snatched a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth. Anthony Melchionda led off the inning with a double to the wall in right center. Ogburn struck out the next batter, but a passed ball allowed Rob Moir to take first and advance Melchionda to third. After a lineout, Spenser Payne walked to load the bases with one out. Matt Pare walked to score the tying run, then Travis Ferrick ripped a one-out double down the left field line to score a pair. Ogburn left the game for D.J. Thomas, who walked the first batter he faced before getting the next two to end the inning.

    The Pack tied it up in the bottom fifth on a two-run shot from Mathews. Diaz drew a one-out walk with the bases empty. With two away, Mathews stepped on a 3-2 pitch, sending it over the fence in left for his sixth of the year to knot the score at 3-3.

    The Eagles took command in the sixth, scoring three to make it 6-3. Melchondia hit his second lead-off double in as many innings, this time to left center. A hit batsman put two on, setting up Marc Perdios to hit an RBI double to left center. A wild pitch brought in Melchondia and moved Perdios to third. Williams came in to relieve Thomas after the wild pitch, but Perdios scored on a passed ball with two outs.

    State scored four runs in a wild seventh inning to vault ahead 7-6. Diaz hit a rocket off of the left field wall to lead off the inning with a double. Danny Canela followed with a chopper to first, and reached when the throw to the covering pitcher sailed wide, allowing Diaz to score from second. Canela went from second to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a grounder to third by Mathews.

    With the bases clear, the next two Wolfpack runs came on a one-out rally started by Tarran Senay’s single to right. Brett Austin knocked a bouncer over third base into left to put two in scoring position. An intentional walk to Ciencin loaded the bases before Brazis came in to relieve Nate Bayuk. Fincher hit a sac fly to center, bringing in Senay. On the relay in, Boston College’s second baseman fired a throw to first without anyone covering the base. The ball bounced into State’s dugout to score the go-ahead run.

    Boston College grabbed the reins again with a five-run eighth, hinging on a two-out, three-RBI double by Matt McGovern. Melchondia reached on his third lead-off hit of the game, a single to center, then stole second after a strikeout. Perdios walked and Payne singled to load the bases, chasing Williams from the game. Travis Orwig threw a wild pitch to score the tying run, then intentionally walked Matt Pare to load the bases before leaving. Overman struck out the first batter he faced for the second out, then gave up McGovern’s full count, three-RBI double down the left field line. Blake Butera followed with a double of his own to push the Eagles’ lead to 11-7.

    The Pack recouped two runs in the bottom eighth to narrow the gap to 11-9, sparked by Diaz’s RBI double. Turner led off the inning by landing a lead-off single in front of the left fielder, then stole second for his 40th of the year. Diaz sprayed a double into the right field corner to score Turner next. Canela walked with nobody out, and the fourth ball went wild off the catcher’s shin guard. The violent ricochet went all the way to first, allowing Diaz to score from second. Kyle Prohovich relieved Brazis there, and sent down three Wolfpack hitters in a row with a pair of strikeouts to end the rally.

    In the ninth, State went down fighting. Fincher dove into first to beat out an infield single over the pitcher to start the comeback. Logan Ratledge fouled off four pitches in a row on a full count before singling through the left side to put runners on the corners with one out. Turner planted an RBI double down the left field line to make it 11-10. An intentional walk loaded the bases with one out, but relievers Tyler Hinchcliffe and John Gorman retired each of the batters they faced to leave those runners stranded.

    NC State returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. for a doubleheader to wrap up its series with Boston College. The second game of State’s doubleheader will begin 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first. Radio coverage for both games will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, fans can follow Twitter updates from @NCStateBaseball, and live stats will be available at GoPack.com.


     

     

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