Wolfpack Baseball broke out the brooms at home for the second straight weekend today. This weekend’s victim was Cal State Bakersfield, as the Pack took all three games from the Roadrunners to improve to 33-12 on the season. Now 9-1 on the current home stand, State finds itself with a 9 game win streak, its longest in eight years.
The 2012 Wolfpack Seniors ended up going out in style on Senior Day in Raleigh, but the 9th consecutive win was in doubt much of the afternoon. After winning the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader (game rescheduled from Sat. evening due to weather) by a score of 2-0, behind 7 1/3 strong innings from Ethan Ogburn (0 runs, 5 hits, 9 K’s, 1 BB) and Ryan Mathews’ 3rd inning 2 RBI double, the Pack found itself on the short end of a 5-1 ballgame after 4 ½ innings in game two. That was when the Seniors went to work.
Consecutive 2 RBI doubles by Ryan Mathews and Andrew Ciencin knotted the game at 5 apiece. Ciencin (4 RBI on the day) would go on to score to give State the lead with heads up baserunning after a throwing error on Brett Austin’s single the following play. After adding another run in the bottom of the 6th, the Pack would lead 7-5. But the ‘Runners weren’t done yet, plating two of their own in the top of the 7th and tying the game once again, this time 7-7.
After going quietly in their half of the 7th, the Pack’s bats came alive once again in the 8th. Danny Canela, Andrew Ciencin and Brett Austin each stepped up with RBI singles to give State a three run cushion going to the top of the 9th. It was two runs more than Wolfpack closer Chris Overman needed as he pitched a scoreless 9th inning to record his 5th save of the season. Dillon Frye would take the win, throwing 1 1/3 innings of no hit ball.
The Wolfpack will try to make it 10 straight Tuesday night at 6pm in Raleigh when they welcome the Aggies from NC A&T to town for the final game of this current homestand. The Pack then hits the road to Blacksburg next weekend for three with the Hokies before returning home for the final regular season game at Doak Field against UNC-G. State then goes on the road once again, this time to Tallahassee, to close the regular season against FSU.
Gopack.com has recaps of both of today’s games….
RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 17 NC State outlasted CSU Bakersfield 2-0 in game one of a Sunday doubleheader at Doak Field at Dail Park behind Ethan Ogburn’s phenomenal pitching effort and a two-RBI double by Ryan Mathews.
Canela led the Pack (32-12) with a 3-for-4 performance, but it was Mathews’s two-out, two-RBI double off the wall in center that proved the difference. Jake Fincher went 2-for-4 with a double. Chris Diaz and Trea Turner scored the winning runs, after each hit their lone single of the game.
Seniors Extend Pack Winning Streak to Nine Games (Includes Video Highlights)
The Wolfpack (33-12) fell behind 5-1 in the top of the fifth, before rallying to take a 6-5 lead with five runs on a pair of two-RBI doubles in the bottom half of the inning. The Pack saw that lead slip away, as CSU Bakersfield (19-23) tied the game at 7-7 in seventh. State rose to the occasion in the eighth, scoring three runs in a two-out rally to slam the door.
Ryan Mathews, Andrew Ciencin, and John Gianis all came through on Senior Day, especially in the pivotal fifth inning. Ciencin led the way with a 3-for-4, four RBI, one run performance with the game-tying, two-RBI double. Mathews drove in the first two runs in the fifth in a 2-for-4, two RBI, two run day with a double. Gianis started the rally by leading off the inning with a single in a 1-for-4, one run effort.
Here’s the sweep from the Bakersfield perspective from GoRunners.com – No. 17 NC State Takes Two From CSUB
The Pack’s case to host an NCAA regional is now solid. Barring worse than a 4-4 finish (even 3-5?) to the regular season, it should remain so. Reaching national seed status is a different story, however. Despite another undefeated week, don’t expect State’s RPI to jump significantly (currently #14). The upcoming road series against VT and (especially) FSU will give the Pack a chance to prove they belong in that top seeding category.
No significant changes this week in seeding for the upcoming ACC Tournament. With all but four teams either going out of conference or taking the weekend off completely, the only conference series this weekend were BC@Carolina and Maryland@FSU. Not surprisingly, the Terrapins have been no help whatsoever to the Pack so far this weekend.
So what has to happen for the Wolfpack to overtake FSU for the top spot in the Atlantic and a #1 seed for the ACC Tournament? Well, presuming that Maryland rolls over for the Seminoles again tomorrow, State will trail FSU by six games with six left to play for both teams, three head to head. State would have to sweep VT in Blacksburg and sweep FSU in Tallahassee AND hope that Clemson can find a way to sweep FSU as well.
If Maryland could find a way to steal game three from the Noles tomorrow, then the Pack could reach the top spot by taking 2 of 3 in Tallahassee, though they would still need to sweep VT and hope Clemson can sweep FSU. Either way, State needs FSU to drop 6 of their last 7 to have even a shot and since FSU has lost only 2 conference games to date, it doesn’t seem likely.
Current ACC Standings are as follows, courtesy of theACC.com:
|(As Of May 6)|
A Reminder: Game time for Tuesday’s game against NC A&T is 6pm. We’ll be live blogging for the game, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. If you can’t get out to the ballpark to support the Pack in person, join us here.
Be sure to check out (and weigh in on) the hot topics on the front page that have gotten bumped down over the past couple days. You can read about Debbie Yow and what she’s doing to improve Wolfpack Athletics here. There’s a great piece about the shady dealings of our neighbors to the west here. Also, be sure to make your way over to the SFN Forums and make your voice heard there as well.