RALEIGH, N.C. When a team is playing well and in the heart of its schedule, an unheralded midweek opponent can be a dangerous game. Radford could have posed just such a danger for NC State on Wednesday, but the Wolfpack came out swinging and downed the Highlanders 11-2 at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The win was NC State's fourth in a row and its 11th in its last 13 games. The Pack improved to 25-11 on the season. Radford lost its 10th game in a row and fell to 15-20.
“When you’re coming off an emotional win like we had last night against East Carolina and you have a big conference weekend game coming up, a game like this can be a trap game,” Wolfpack head coach Elliott Avent said. “I was really pleased that we came out and played loose and played well. We knew it was important to score early, and we did.”
NC State pretty much put the game out of reach with a five-run second inning. Marcus Jones got the inning started by drawing a walk off Radford starter Kyle Starr (2-3) and taking second on a wild pitch. Jeremy Synan singled up the middle to drive in Jones, and Tommy Foschi beat out a bunt attempt for a hit that put runners at second and third. Nate Cockman, making his first college start, walked to load the bases, and Drew Martin singled to left to drive in a pair. Devon Cartwright bunted Martin and Cockman to second and third, respectively, and Ryan Pond made it 5-0 with a single to center field.
Tyren Rivers singled in a run and Alex Gregory knocked one in with an RBI groundout, both in the top of the third off Wolfpack starter Sam Brown (3-1), who worked five innings, allowed five hits, walked two and struck out a career-high seven to earn the win.
Cartwright made it 7-2 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, and Marcus Jones made it 8-2 with an RBI single in the sixth.
The Wolfpack added three more in the eighth to wrap up the scoring. Domonique Rodgers and Dusty Quattlebaum hit RBI singles, and Dallas Poulk drove in a run with a double.
The Wolfpack bullpen silenced the Highlanders over the final four innings. Jeff Stallings and Jason Zinser eached worked two scoreless innings.
NC State will return to action this weekend in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Virginia Tech. Game times are 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and on the internet at gopack.com through the Pack Pass package.