Despite being the visiting team on the scoreboard, Wolfpack Baseball treated a partisan sellout crowd to a come from behind home field season finale, topping Vanderbilt 9-7 with a late inning surge and winning the Raleigh Regional in exciting fashion Monday night. The come from behind victory returns the favor to the Commodores for Saturday’s crushing game four loss, and advances the Pack to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time since 2008. The Pack will face the Florida Gators in Gainesville for a best of three series this coming weekend, the winner advancing to the College World Series in Omaha.
The Wolfpack jumped out quickly Monday night against the Commodres, scoring a run in the first on a Danny Canela RBI base knock, but Mike Yastrzemski would knot the score at 1 with a solo HR for Vandy in the bottom half. The Pack would add two more in the top of the 3rd to take a 3-1 lead before things would unravel a bit for the Wolfpack in the bottom of the 3rd.
Logan Jernigan would start for the Pack, and aside from the mistake thrown to Yastrzemski in the first inning he entered his third inning of work looking strong. But the second time through the Commodores’ lineup proved to be disastrous. In the inning, nine Commodores would come to bat and five runs would cross the plate giving Vandy a 3 run lead. They would add another in the 5th to extend it to 7-3, and would carry that lead to the 8th.
But in the Pack’s half of the 8th, the bottom of the order came through once again. After a Brett Austin leadoff walk and a Logan Ratledge double, Tarran Senay, hitting in the #9 slot after entering the game as a defensive replacement in left field the previous half inning, hammered a 3 run shot over the right field fence to pull the Wolfpack to within one.
Then in the top of the ninth, it was Senay once again. This time he would fight off a 1-2 offering to center, knocking in two more. When Trea Turner followed him with an RBI single of his own, the Pack would lead 9-7 with a chance to close it out going to the last half of the 9th.
Ryan Wilkins, who came on in relief for State in the 5th inning and would go the rest of the way for the win (5-2), pitched shutout ball for 4.2 innings, giving up 3 hits, 3 walks and striking out 6. But he saved his best for last on Monday night. After losing the Vandy 9th inning leadoff hitter Gregor to a walk (after a questionable call on what would have been strike three the previous pitch), Wilkins would bear down and strike out the next three batters he faced, securing the come from behind victory, and a hard fought Raleigh Regional Championship. It would be Wilkins’ second win in as many nights against the Commodores.
Senay’s 2 for 2, 5 RBI night would propel the Pack in the late innings, but it was a team victory. Trea Turner would go 3 for 6 and get his 56th stolen base of the year, while Danny Canela and Andrew Ciencin had two hits and an RBI each.
Despite a 1 for 5 night that would see him strike out on three occasions, Ryan Mathews was deservedly named the Regional’s Most Outstanding Player. Matt Bergquist, Trea Turner and Brett Austin each were named to the all regional team.
The Pack now takes its 43-18 record to Gainesville to face the top seeded Gators.
GoPack.com – Senay Drives in Five as Wolfpack Roars Back to Advance (Incl. Video Highlights and Photo Gallery)
The Pack electrified the crowd in the top eighth by cutting the lead to 7-6. Austin drew a lead off walk and Ratledge sent a laser down the left field line for a double to put two in scoring position. Senay came to the plate next, and put a charge into a 3-2 pitch, blasting it miles into the trees behind the right field fence for a three-run homer. Reliever Will Clinard entered after a two-out single by Ryan Mathews and ended the inning on the first batter he faced.
In the ninth, State triumphed with three runs to put the game away. Ciencin led off the inning with a single up the middle, and Bryan Adametz took his place as the pinch runner. Fincher laid down a sac bunt to push him to second, and reached when the throw to first hit him in the hand. A groundout to first advanced both runners into scoring position, and Ratledge was walked to load the bases. Senay took center stage once again, delivering the game-winning hit to score a pair with one out. Turner singled behind him to add the insurance run and set the final at 9-7.
NewsObserver.com – Pack roars back to win 9-7 in regional final; Florida next
That brought Senay back to the plate. The junior outfielder lined a single to center for two runs, pushing the Pack ahead 8-7.
When Trea Turner followed with an RBI-single to right, the lead was 9-7.
That left it up to Ryan Wilkins, a junior righthander who pitched the final 4.2 innings, to protect the lead in the bottom of the ninth. Wilkins gave up a leadoff walk, then fanned Spencer Navin, Riley Reynolds and Connor Harrell to end it.
The Wolfpack (43-18) advances to its first Super Regional since 2008 and will face Florida, the No. 1 NCAA seed, in Gainesville, Fla., this week.
“It was a great game, we kept battling and battling,” said Senay, who entered the game in the seventh to play left field. “We never gave up.
“I’m at a loss for words. That was unbelievable — the feeling to come back and get the victory and go to Gainesville. Just unbelievable.”
CharlotteObserver.com – Tudor: Terran Senay’s swings put N.C. State in Super spot
VUCommodores.com – NC State rallies past VU, 9-7
Tennessean.com – Vanderbilt falls to N.C. State in NCAA regional
NCAA Super Regionals
While all of this year’s super regionals feature at least one number one seed, only two feature two number one seeds, NCSU @ Florida and Stanford @ Florida State.
Games Friday thru Sunday:
- (1) Stanford @ (1) Florida State (Tallahassee)
- (2) TCU @ (1) UCLA (LA)
- (4) Stony Brook @ (1) LSU (Baton Rouge)
- (3) St. John’s @ (1) Arizona (Tucson)
Games Saturday thru Monday:
- (1) NC State @ (1) Florida (Gainesville)
- (3) Kent St. @ (1) Oregon (Eugene)
- (2) Arkansas @ (1) Baylor (Waco)
- (2) Oklahoma @ (1) S. Carolina (Columbia) – OU defeated App St. twice Monday to advance.
Game Times and TV coverage for NC State @ Florida are:
- Saturday, June 9th – 2pm – ESPNU
- Sunday, June 10th – 1pm – ESPNU
- Monday, June 11th – 1pm – ESPN2
Good Luck in Gainesville, gents. Go Pack!