NC State Baseball Clips Virginia Tech 12-8 In Game 1 of Doubleheader
RALEIGH, N.C. – Pat Ferguson homered, doubled and drove in a pair of runs, and Ramon Corona drove in three runs with two hits to lift NC State past Virginia Tech 12-8 in the first game of a doubleheader at Doak Field at Dail Park. The game was the first of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series. NC State improved to 15-6 overall and 2-2 in the ACC with the win, while Virginia Tech fell to 12-7 and 2-2.
Andrew Brackman (4-1), the first of four Wolfpack pitchers, got the win after tossing five innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits. He walked two and struck out three. Joey Cutler got the last four outs of the game and qualified for his first save of the season. Greg Fryman (2-2) took the loss for the Hokies. He worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. He walked four and did not record a strikeout.
In addition to Ferguson and Corona, Joe Florio had a big day offensively for NC State, with two hits in three at-bats. Florio now has reached base safely in 18 of his last 28 plate appearances. Drew Martin went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Marcus Jones drove in two runs. Sean O’Brien led the Hokies’ 17-hit attack with four hits in six at-bats Nate Parks, Warren Schaeffer, Matt Hacker, Steve Bumbrey and Matt Foley had two hits apiece for Virginia Tech.
The Wolfpack took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Florio led off with a single up the middle, and Corona sent Florio to third with a single up the middle off the glove of Hacker at second base. Jeremy Synan walked to load the bases with none out. Right fielder Jose Cueto robbed Ryan Pond of extra bases with a diving catch in the gap in right-center field, but Florio scored on the sacrifice fly.
The Hokies tied the game in the top of the second. Cueto led off and walked. Schaeffer sacrificed Cueto to second base, and Hacker moved him to third on a grounder to shortstop. Bumbry got the run home with a high chopper that went for an infield single.
Parks led off the top of the third for Virginia Tech and dunked a single into shallow right-center. O’Brien followed with an opposite-field drive off the wall in left to put runners on second and third with none out. Bryan Thomas’s sacrifice fly to center scored Parks. Adam Redd’s grounder to second moved O’Brien to third, and he scored to make it 3-1 when Martin could not corral Cueto’s grounder to third for an error.
The Wolfpack came back and took a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the third. With one down, Ryan Pond walked, and Caleb Mangum hit a grounder up the middle that Hacker dived for an nearly turned into a double play. The umpires ruled that Schaeffer was off the bag at second, and that O’Brien was off the bag for the relay to first, meaning all hands were safe, runners at first and second with one out. Ferguson doubled into the gap in left-center to drive in Pond, and Mangum scored to tie the score when Schaeffer unsuccessfully threw to third base on Jones’s grounder to shortstop. Ferguson beat the play at third, then scored on Martin’s single through the left side of the infield to give the Pack a 4-3 lead. Dallas Poulk made it 5-3 with a single through the right side. Martin came all the way around to third on the play, and after Florio walked to load the bases, Martin scored on Corona’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Ferguson led off the bottom of the fifth and beat out an infield single. Jones singled to right to put runners on first and second. Fryman retired Martin for the first out, and reliever Josh Canova got pinch-hitter Tommy Foschi before Florio walked to load the bases and Corona made it 8-3 with a two-run single up the middle.
Ferguson’s one-out solo homer to right in the bottom of the sixth pushed the Wolfpack led to 9-3, but the Hokies got that run back in the top of the seventh when O’Brien led off with a double to right-center, took third on an error and scored on Redd’s single up the middle. Cueto walked to load the bases and Schaeffer singled to right to drive in Thomas and cut the lead to 9-5.
Parks reached on a force play in the top of the eighth, stole second and scored on O’Brien’s double to left-center. The Hokies ran themselves out of the inning, however, when O’Brien was caught stealing at third and Thomas, who reached on a strikeout and wild pitch, , was out at the plate trying to score all the way from first after Redd reached on a wild throw.
NC State scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth without a hit. Corona led off and walked. Reliever Randy Buffington plunked Synan with a pitch, and Matt Payne pinch-ran for Synan. Pond bunted the runners to second and third, and Mangum took an intentional walk to load the bases with one down. Brett Fox came in to pitch for the Hokies, and Ryan Howard, pinch-hitting for Ferguson, drew a walk to drive in a run. Parks dropped Jones’s fly ball in deep center field for a sacrifice fly and an error to drive in Payne and make it 11-6. Foschi’s grounder into the hole at shortstop went for a fielder’s choice with Jones beating the play at second base and Mangum scoring to make it 12-6.
The Hokies tacked on two more in the top of the ninth, all the damage coming with two out. Hacker and Sean Ryan singled, and scored on Foley’s double off the wall in left field.