May 12, 2012
Box Score | Box Score
BLACKSBURG, VA. - For the second time Saturday, Ryan Mathews provided No. 13 NC State’s game-winning hit, blasting a two-run shot with two outs in the seventh to push the Wolfpack ahead en route to a 6-2 win over Virginia Tech at English Field.
The Wolfpack (36-12, 18-8 ACC) took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the third before Virginia Tech (32-18, 10-16 ACC) answered with a pair in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead. State tied the game in the fifth, then Mathews’s two-run blast made it 4-2 in the seventh. Another pair of runs came in during an error-riddled ninth to make the final margin 6-2.
The victory extends the Pack’s current winning streak to 12 games, the longest run since State won 16 in a row in 2003. State’s 18 conference wins ties the most in a single season, matching 2008.
Trea Turner stole a pair of bases in the to improve to 50-for-52 on the year and become only the third player in ACC history to steal 50 bases in a single season, joining Georgia Tech’s Ty Griffin (50 in 1986) and UNC’s Brian Roberts (63 in 1997). Turner finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, marking the 15th-consecutive game the freshman has scored at least one run.
Mathews stretched his team-leading hitting streak to 16 games with his 10th home run of the year, his only hit in a 1-for-5 performance. Logan Ratledge scored twice in a 2-for-4 game. Danny Canela went 2-for-5. Chris Diaz drove in one and scored once in a 1-for-4 effort.
NC State reliever Travis Orwig (1-1) captured his first career win by pitching a brilliant final 3 2/3 innings, shutting out the Hokies on two hits with two strikeouts. Starter Anthony Tzamtzis lasted four innings, allowing two earned on three hits and four walks, notching all four of his strikeouts in the first two innings. Ryan Wilkins relieved Tzamtzis and went 1 1/3, surrendering one hit and striking out two.
Virginia Tech starter Joe Mantiply (5-5) took the loss after allowing four earned on eight hits over seven innings. Reliever Manny Martir pitched the next 1 1/3 and gave up two unearned runs in the ninth. Jake Atwell retired two of the final three batters.
State grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on Turner’s RBI single. Ratledge led off the inning by dropping a single in the right center gap. Matt Bergquist bunted him to second, and Turner threaded a groundball through the left side for his RBI single.
The Hokies responded with a pair of runs on Mark Zagunis’s two-out, two-RBI single in the third to climb ahead 2-1. Sean Keselica led off the inning with a screamer back up the middle for a single. A sac bunt and a fly ball to center moved Keselica to third and provided the first two outs. A pair of walks loaded the bases, setting up Zagunis to fly to shallow center. Jake Fincher made an admirable dive at it, but the ball popped free of his glove on the turf, allowing two runs to score.
The Pack tied it up 2-2 in the fifth on a suicide squeeze by Diaz to score Ratledge. Ratledge dropped a lead-off single along the right field line to start the inning. Bergquist drew a walk to push him to second, and Turner’s fly out to left put runners on the corners. Diaz dropped a bunt down in front of the plate, and Ratledge raced home, beating the tag by inches. Canela legged out an infield single with two away to load the bases, but State left them full on a groundout to short.
Mathews sent a two-run, two-out homer cruising over the left field fence to put the Wolfpack on top 4-2 in the seventh. Turner reached by smashing a one-out infield single off the pitcher’s foot, then stole second. After a strikeout for the second out, Mathews produced the clutch home run to vault the Pack ahead.
State tacked on a pair in the ninth on gifts from the Virginia Tech defense to extend the lead to 6-2. Turner reached on a one-out walk and stole second. Diaz made it to first on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Mathews popped up to second, but the fielder botched the catch to score one. Another Hokie error helped Diaz score when Canela hit a fielder’s choice and the first baseman’s throw to second sailed wide of its target.
NC State looks for a sweep of Virginia Tech on Sunday at 1 p.m. Radio coverage for Sunday’s game will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, fans can follow Twitter updates from @NCStateBaseball, and live stats will be available on GoPack.com.