NC State Baseball Comes Back To Defeat The Citadel, 8-5
May 11, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. - Jonathan Diaz squeezed home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Ramon Corona drove in two insurance runs later in the inning to lift NC State past The Citadel 8-5 in college baseball action Wednesday afternoon at Doak Field.
The Wolfpack, which won for the 12th time in its last 15 games, improved to 34-13. The Pack is five games ahead of last year's pace through 47 games. The Citadel dropped to 18-31 with the loss.
Alan Letchworth (1-0) got the win despite allowing a pair of runs on two hits in one inning of work. He walked one and did not record a strikeout. Joey Devine pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and striking out two to notch his 11th save of the season. Devine now has 35 career saves and moves ahead of Scott Winchester (Clemson, 1992-95) and into sole possession of third place in Atlantic Coast Conference history in career saves.
Evan Burgess (1-1), the last of three pitchers for The Citadel, took the loss after being charged with three runs on three hits in one inning of work. He struck out one and did not issue a walk.
Ramon Corona was the offensive star for the Wolfpack, hitting a single and a double and driving in three runs. Aaron Bates went 2-for-3 and drove in a run, while Matt Devine came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with an RBI. Chance Smith went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run for The Citadel, while Jon Aughey had two doubles and a single in five at-bats. Chris Ard and Chris Swauger had two hits apiece for the Bulldogs.
The Citadel jumped to an early lead. Aughey led off the top of the second with an infield single, and Matt Matulia walked to put runners on first and second with none out. Josh Stackley tried to bunt the runners to second and third, but Wolfpack starter Sam Walls nailed Aughey at third base for the first out of the inning. Zach Brown walked to load the bases with one down and Brady Mashak hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Bulldogs made it 2-0 in the top of the third. Ard singled with one away and stole second. Swauger reached on an infield single to put runners on first and third, and Matulia lined a single up the middle to drive in Ard with The Citadel's second run of the game.
NC State got on the board with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third when Matt Camp reached on an infield single, stole second and scored on Corona's single to center field.
The Bulldogs made it a two-run lead again with a run in the top of the fifth. Aughey led off with a double down the left-field line, went to second on Matulia's fly ball to deep right field, and scored on Josh Stackley's sacrifice fly to center field.
Corona led off the bottom of the sixth and was hit by a pitch. Bates and Ryan Pond walked to load the bases with none out. That was the end of the afternoon for Bulldogs starter Tim Martin, who pitched well but was charged with four runs, three earned, on three hits in five-plus innings. Zach Brown came in to face Brian Aragon and got a ground ball to second base, but Matulia, the shortstop, mishandled the scoop relay to the bag for an error. Corona scored on the play and the bases were still loaded. Mike Jensen tied the score at 3-3 with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Pond took third on the play. Devine followed with a pinch-hit single to left to score Pond and give the Wolfpack a 4-3 lead.
Diaz led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and went to second on Camp's sacrifice bunt. Corona was hit by a pitch for the second time in a row, and Bates singled through the hole on the left side of the infield to drive in Diaz and give the Pack a 5-3 lead.
Letchworth came in to start the top of the eighth and walked Brown leading off. With one down, Smith drove an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left field for a game-tying two-run homer, knotting the score at 5-5.
NC State started its winning rally in the eighth with a one-out infield single by Devine, who went to second on a wild pitch. Jake Muyco singled to right to put runners on the corners with one away. Diaz then laid down his squeeze bunt, which Ard was unable to field cleanly along the third-base line. With two down, Corona drove a double off the wall in left-center field, driving in Muyco and Diaz to make it 8-5. The Bulldogs recovered in time to nail Corona at third base as he tried for a triple.
NC State returns to action this weekend with a three-game ACC series at Duke. Game times are 7 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and on the internet on gopack.com. Live in-game stats will be available on gopack.com through the Gametracker.