Elon Outslugs NC State Baseball, 13-9
RALEIGH, N.C. – Niko Fraser had three hits and drove in four runs, and Harry Austin added three RBIs Wednesday night as Elon downed NC State 13-9 at Doak Field at Dail Park. The Phoenix jumped to a 6-0 lead in the top of the third inning and never let the Wolfpack get closer than three runs the rest of the way.
Elon improved to 28-16 with the win, while NC State fell to 26-17. Jared Kernodle (5-2), the second of eight Phoenix pitchers to work, got the win with 1 1/3 innings in relief of starter Dylan Clark, who had to leave the game after taking a line drive off his lower leg in the bottom of the third inning. Kernodle allowed three runs on three hits, walked two and struck out one. Thomas Girdwood came out of the bullpen with two on and none out in the bottom of the ninth and retired all three men he faced to earn his sixth save. NC State starter Mike Russo (2-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Elon took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Ryan Adams led off and walked. With one down, Ben Scott doubled to right-center and Russo hit Seth Canipe with a pitch to load the bases. Fraser doubled in two runs, Austin got a run home with a groundout, and Alex Swim singled to right to drive in the fourth run of the inning.
The Phoenix made it 6-0 with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third. Scott Riddle reached on an error and Scott singled to left. Fraser bunted for a hit to load the bases, and two runs scored when Austin’s grounder to second was booted for an error.
Russell Wilson led off the bottom of the third for the Pack and singled off Clark, knocking him out of the game. Kernodle came in to pitch for Elon and got Bill Edwards on a grounder to first, but Wilson took second on the play and scored on Matt Bergquist’s double to right-center, the first of four hits on the night for the Wolfpack shortstop. Dallas Poulk walked to put runners on first and second, and Bergquist went to third on a passed ball and scored when Swim’s throw to third sailed into the outfield for an error. Poulk went all the way to third on the play, and scored when Drew Poulk grounded out.
Matt Hinson made it 7-3 Elon with a two-out solo homer in the top of the fourth. Danny Canela, pinch-hitting for Edwards, got that run back with a one-out RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, driving in Wilson, who was hit by a pitch.
Scott Riddle led off the top of the fifth for the Phoenix and singled to right. Scott doubled down the right-field line to put runners on second and third. Fraser grounded out to drive in one run. Austin drew a two-out walk to put runners on first and third, and two runs came in to score when Swim’s fly ball to left was dropped for an error.
Drew Poulk doubled to center field with one down in the bottom of the fifth, and scored on Harold Riggins’ single to right. Riggins went to second on the throw to the plate, then scored on Andrew Ciencin’s single to right, cutting the Elon lead to 10-6.
Elon added three more runs in the top of the sixth, all with two outs, which proved to be the backbreaker. Riddle singled up the middle, stole second, went to third when the throw sailed into center field, and scored on Scott’s single up the middle. Canipe and Fraser were both hit by pitches to load the bases, and Austin drove in a pair with a single through the right side of the infield, Elon’s sixth two-out hit and sixth two-out RBI of the game.
Bergquist led off the bottom of the sixth with an infield single, went to second on Dallas Poulk’s single to center, took third when Chris Schaeffer walked, and scored on a wild pitch. Poulk’s single extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
Wilson led off the bottom of the seventh with a single through the right side and scored when Bergquist tripled to right-center. Dallas Poulk doubled to right-center to drive in Bergquist with the game’s final run.
NC State returns to action on Friday in the first game of a three-game series vs. Georgia Tech. Game times are 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. on Saturday Sunday. All three games will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM and on-line at gopack.com.