May 8, 2012
Box Score | Box Score
RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 13 NC State scratched out a 5-1 win over North Carolina A&T to extend its season-best win streak to 10 games Tuesday at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The Wolfpack (34-12) sits one win shy of equaling an 11-game win streak achieved in 2004. The current 10-gamer represents the longest of the last eight years.
NC State head coach Elliott Avent squared off against one of his former players, Joel Sanchez, who he coached at New Mexico State in the late ‘90s. The matchup turned out to be a hotly contested one as N.C. A&T (15-34) motored ahead 1-0 in the third. State responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third, before adding a pair to stretch the final margin to 5-1.
Jake Fincher led State with a 3-for-4, one RBI performance. Chris Diaz represented the only other Wolfpacker with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a run. Tarran Senay had an RBI double, one of only two extra-base hits for the Pack on the night. Brett Austin drove in a run with a sac fly.
Ryan Mathews extended his team-leading hit streak to 14 games with 1-for-3, one RBI, one run effort. Trea Turner went 1-for-3 with a run and two stolen bases to improve his NCAA-leading total to 45 on 47 attempts this season.
Reliever Dillon Frye (3-0) captured the win on 2 1/3 innings, striking out four Bulldogs while holding the opposition scoreless on two hits and two walks. Starter Danny Healey pitched the first three innings, giving up one earned on five hits with two strikeouts. Vance Williams went 1 2/3 after Frye, and Ryan Wilkins threw an inning with two strikeouts. Chris Overman came in for the ninth in a non-save situation, striking out one.
A&T starter Ruben Torrellas (1-5) left saddled with the loss after five innings, allowing four earned on seven hits and five walks. Reliever Jamal Clark went the final three innings, giving up one earned on three hits.
The Bulldogs scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Carvell Copeland singled up the middle with one out to get the inning started. With two outs and Copeland still on first, a hit-and-run pulled Diaz toward second, allowing a nubber to short to go as an infield single. Luke Tendler grounded up the middle next, and Diaz saved a run by diving to smother the ball on the outfield grass. Dairio Little singled through the left side next, scoring one, but Senay fired home from left to gun down the next runner for the third out.
State responded with three run inning in the third to take the lead. Diaz led off the inning with a single to center, moved to second on an error by the center fielder, and took third one pitch later on a passed ball. Mathews and Danny Canela drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with no outs. Austin’s sac fly to right scored the tying run. Senay ripped a fly to right over the head of the outfielder for an RBI double next. Fincher’s grounder to short scored Canela to make it 3-1.
Turner produced a run to extend the lead to 4-1 in the fourth. After reaching on a one-out walk, Turner stole second, then third, and scored when the catcher’s throw skipped by the third baseman. Diaz followed with a triple to the right field corner, but ended up stranded there after a walk set up a double play.
The Pack dodged a major bullet in the sixth, as A&T managed to load the bases with one away. Frye gave up a one-out double off the wall in center, then walked a batter after a wild pitch to put runners on the corners. Another walk loaded the bases, prompting a pitching change. Williams entered and the first batter he faced smashed a one-hopper to the right side that Ratledge corralled and turned 4-6-3 for an inning-ending double play.
Ratledge scored in the eighth to stretch the final score to 5-1 after a lead-off single up the middle. The freshman advanced to second on a wild pitch, then made his way home on a pair of groundouts. Mathews’s grounder to short for the second out plated the run.
NC State hits the road this weekend for a three-game set at Virginia Tech beginning May 11. Radio coverage for the weekend will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, fans can follow Twitter updates from @NCStateBaseball, and live stats will be available on GoPack.com.