They may have taken the long route to the championship game, but Wolfpack Baseball will face off against the Vanderbilt Commodores again tomorrow night at 7pm, this time for the Raleigh Regional crown and a chance to punch their ticket to Gainesville. On a day when ACC teams were dropping like flies, the Pack found a way to survive two elimination games.
After scoring 17 runs on 22 hits in flying by the UNC-W Seahawks 17-5 earlier in the day, the Pack at first looked as if it might continue to score at a blistering pace in the nightcap against Vanderbilt. Ryan Mathews hit a first inning solo shot (17) and Trea Turner added a 2 run blast (5) in the third to give the Wolfpack a 3-0 lead after three innings. The Pack would add a single run in the 4th and another in the 5th to extend their lead to 5-1.
But Vanderbilt, which broke the collective hearts of State fans everywhere just last night with a late inning come from behind win, had another comeback in them. They would post 2 runs on the board in the 6th and 2 more in the 7th to knot the score at 5 apiece.
Then in the bottom of the 8th, Matt Bergquist’s career day continued when he knocked a one out single, scoring Brett Austin from third. Brett Ratledge was nailed at home on a Trea Turner ground ball the very next play and the Pack would miss out on a big inning, but as it turned out they got the one they needed.
Ryan Wilkins would get the win, pitching 2 scoreless innings. His two strikeouts both came in the 9th inning, the second against the speedy Commodore Tony Kemp to end the game, when Wilkins would sit Vandy down in order to preserve the win. In his two innings of work he would face only the minimum of six batters, thanks in large part to one of the most interesting double plays I’ve seen in awhile…tip of the hat to both Trea Turner (for even fielding the ball and the long throw to first) and Andrew Ciencin (for keeping his head in the game and firing a bullet back to third).
Anthony Tzamtzis started the game for State and tossed 6.2 strong innings, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 9 hits, with 5 K’s and 2 BB, but would not figure in the decision. Travis Orwig no hit Vandy for a third of an inning.
RALEIGH, N.C. – Matt Bergquist’s eighth-inning heroics propelled NC State to a 6-5 win over Vanderbilt Sunday night at Doak Field at Dail Park to stave off elimination and force a Monday night championship game at 7 p.m.
Ryan Mathews handed the Pack (42-18) a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a solo shot, and State added two more on a Trea Turner home run in the third to build a 3-0 lead. Vanderbilt (35-27) broke the seal in the fourth with a run, but the Wolfpack responded with runs in the fourth and fifth to leap ahead 5-1. The Commodores chopped that lead in half with two runs in the sixth, then tied the game with two more in the seventh, but Bergquist came up with the pivotal hit in the eighth to set the final at 6-5.
Bergquist went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run, putting a stamp on a huge day for the junior. In two games Sunday, Bergquist pieced together a 5-for-8 afternoon with a home run and seven RBIs. Danny Canela and Brett Austin had the Pack’s two other multi-hit games, each going 2-for-4 with Austin driving in one and scoring the game-winning run.
Mathews hit his 17th homer of the year to put the Wolfpack on top in the first, his ninth in the last 14 games and third of the Raleigh regional. Turner’s two-run shot represented his fifth of the season.
NC State starter Anthony Tzamtzis went 6 2/3 innings, the second-longest outing of his career, striking out five batters while allowing four earned for a no decision. Reliever Ryan Wilkins (4-2) scored the win with two shutout innings to seal the deal, holding the Commodores to one hit and striking out two in the ninth.
NewsObserver.com – Tudor: In the face of adversity, Pack swinging its way out of trouble
The Pack advanced on a game-winning single in the eighth by second baseman Matt Bergquist, the 9th guy in the batting order, that scored Brett Austin.
It was the second hit of the game for Bergquist, a junior who began the night with a modest .212 batting average.
But the way State has played of late, any hitter on the scorecard is a threat.
In four Regional games, Avent’s team has scored 48 runs on 59 hits – a remarkable run.
“Our guys are seeing the ball the best we’ve seen it all season. We’re hitting, so that’s a definite positive,” Avent said.
theACC.com – NCAA Baseball Regionals ACCtion: Sunday, June 3
TimesUnion.com (AP) – NC State beats Vanderbilt 6-5 in NCAA regionals
VUCommodores.com – NC State forces third game
Out of Town Scoreboard
The ACC took it on the chin this weekend. Virginia went down moments ago making FSU and NCSU the only two conference teams still standing. While the Seminoles are done for the weekend and now await the Stanford Regional winner in Tallahassee next weekend, the Wolfpack has to make a quick turnaround to face the Commodores once more in Raleigh. Game time is set for 7pm Monday evening. The Florida Gators await the winner in Gainesville next weekend.
- Florida 15
- Georgia Tech 3
- GT eliminated, Florida to face NCSU/Vandy winner in super regionals
- Florida State 5
- Samford 2
- FSU advances to super regionals to face Stanford.
- Virginia 4
- Oklahoma 5
- UVa eliminated, OU vs. App St. tomorrow for Charlottesville Reg. Champ. OU must beat App 2x tomorrow.
- South Carolina 4
- Clemson 3
- Clemson eliminated, SCar to face Oklahoma/App winner.
…and, Chapel Hill
- St. John’s 9
- Carolina 5
- Carolina eliminated, St. John’s to face Arizona.
Sorry ’bout that Heels. Maybe you can head to Raleigh tomorrow and support the Pack! (…and don’t even try to use going to class as an excuse)