Baseball Handles UNCA, 7-4
RALEIGH, N.C. Caleb Mangum’s three-run homer capped a four-run seventh inning, and that proved to be the deciding inning as NC State handed UNC Asheville a 7-4 defeat Tuesday at Doak Field at Dail Park. The win, NC State’s third in a row, improved the Wolfpack to 34-18. The Bulldogs fell to 19-36.
Joey Cutler (3-0) picked up the win with three innings of relief. He allowed two runs on two hits. He struck out two without issuing a walk. Eric Taylor got the final five outs in order to record his first save of the season. Dan Weller (1-1), the fourth of six UNC Asheville pitchers, took the loss. He was charged with four runs on three hits and a wal in one-third of an inning.
The Bulldogs drew first blood with a run in the top of the first inning. Karns struck out leadoff hitter Kevin Mattison on four pitches, but David Williams lofted a one-out blooper to shallow left field and legged it out for a double. Mattison took third on a wild pitch from Karns and scored on Rob Vernon’s single up the middle.
DeRatt kept the Wolfpack off the scoreboard until the fourth inning, allowing baserunners in each of the first three innings, but getting out of trouble with double plays in the first and third. Caleb Mangum, Jeremy Synan and Ryan Pond led off the bottom of the fourth with consecutive singles, loading the bases with none out, but DeRatt escaped with minimal damage when he got Mike Roskopf to ground into a double play, the third turned by UNCA in the game’s first four innings. Mangum scored on the play to tie the score at 1-1.
The Bulldogs broke the tie right away in the top of the fifth. Justin Schumer led off with a walk and took second on a sacrifice by John Whited. Steve Burnich hit a bloop single to left-center, but Schumer had to wait to be sure the ball would not be caught and was only able to advance to third base. He scored when Mattison went the other way and singled through the left side of the infield. That was all for Karns, who allowed two runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two. Joey Cutler came in to pitch for the Pack and got Williams to ground into a nifty double play turned by Foschi and Poulk at shortstop and second base.
Andrew Alexander came in to pitch for UNCA in the fifth, and he ran into trouble in the sixth, issuing one-out walks to Mangum and Synan and giving up a single to Pond to load the bases. Lefthander Jordan Dorsett came in to pitch for the Bulldogs, and the righthand-hitting Matt Payne pinch-hit for Roskopf, and walked on five pitches to force in the tying run. Dorsett got out of the jam when Pat Ferguson grounded into a double play, the fourth turned by UNCA in the game’s first six innings.
The Wolfpack finally took the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Marcus Jones led off with a single to right field and went to second on Foschi’s sacrifice bunt. Drew Martin walked, and Poulk extended his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI single to left, breaking the tie and giving NC State a 3-2 lead. Mangum was up next and drilled a three-run homer to left to make it 6-2.
The four-run lead was short-lived. Steve Burnich led off with a single to left field, and Mattison drove a two-run home run down the right-field line to make it 6-4.
NC State added its final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth. With Ferguson on second after a leadoff double, Marcus Jones reached on an error, wth Ferguson cut down at the plate. Jones took third on a wild pitch, then scored on Foschi’s sacrifice fly to center field.
The Wolfpack will conclude the regular season this weekend with a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series vs. Clemson. The series is a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series. Game times are 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. on Saturday. All three games will be carried live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and online at gopack.com.