Charlotte Bests Pack to Win First NCAAT Game Ever

Charlotte 6
NC State 3

I guess one could say that Charlotte avenged its 2005 NCAA Basketball Tournament loss on Friday as the 49ers won their FIRST NCAA Tournament baseball game in the school’s history. (The program was 0-4 before Friday).

All seems to be status quo with Eliott Avent’s Wolfpack baseball program. Another ‘acceptable’ regular season with a middling finish in ACC play followed by nothing in the ACC Tournament or NCAA Tournament.

That kind of performance will typically get you an extension in Lee Fowler’s Athletics Department!! Oh wait…”Coach” Fowler decided not to even wait on this one and went gave Avent an extension through the 2010 season in the middle of this season.

Avent has qualified for seven NCAA Tournament appearances in his eleven years as skipper of the Wolfpack’s program. And, much like Herb Sendek on the basketball side of things…that is where Avent’s ‘success’ ends. Despite having coached 19 players who were named first-team All-ACC and having 40 players advance to play professionally, Avent has failed to win an ACC Championship or advance to a single College World Series in his 11 seasons as NC State’s baseball coach. He has advanced to but a single “Super Regional” (think Sweet 16 / Final 8 weekend in basketball).

But, hey…we made the tournament!! Perhaps we should go ahead and give him another contract extension just for being a good guy.

By the way, UNC-CH won the ACC Baseball Championship this year after playing for the National Championship last year. What a role reversal for the programs from when Avent originally took over. Thank goodness that we improved our stadium!! Imagine where we would be without all of that facility enhancement?

I don’t follow that much baseball…so, I would love to learn more about the correlation of the ‘progress’ NC State’s program over the last decade compared to the financial investment that we have made and similarly the correlation of the ‘progress’ Carolina’s program over the same time period compared to the financial investment they have made.

4:48pm: Bottom of the 9th. It’s now or never for the Wolfpack. First out looked to be very close play at first base.

4:28pm: Ryan Pond delivered a single to center field with runners on1st and 2nd and one out to pull the Pack to 6-3. After a pitching change, the Pack hit into a double play therefore ending the comeback hope for the 8th.

4:10pm: State had runners on but couldn’t muster more than 1 run in the 7th.

3:25pm: Charlotte belts a 2-run home run with 2 outs. Looks like State may go to the bullpen. Not looking good.

2:47pm: State averts disaster as the 49ers leave runners on the corners in the top of the 3rd inning.

2:35pm: Charlotte does nothing in the top of the 2nd. State gets a 2-out single and nothing more. The 49ers still lead 3-0 after 2 innings.

2:25pm: Charlotte scores three runs in the top of the first and the Wolfpack fails to score after failing to capitalize on a leadoff single by Dallas Poulk. The 49ers lead 3-0.

Sophomore Eric Surkamp is pitching for the Wolfpack. Surkamp started 15 games for the Wolfpack this year and went 4-4 while comprising a 3.18 ERA while pitching 90 innings and striking out 77.

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26 Responses to Charlotte Bests Pack to Win First NCAAT Game Ever

  1. Lunatic Fringe 06/01/2007 at 2:17 PM #

    Whew…good rally by Surkamp in the 3rd. The top of the line-up is really giving Surkamp some trouble.

    4 Hits, 1 Walk, 3 Runs, and 2 RBIs from first 5 batters

  2. packbackr04 06/01/2007 at 2:23 PM #

    is it still 3 to nothin?

    why isnt b-rack playing in the regional?

  3. CedarGroveWolf 06/01/2007 at 3:29 PM #

    elbow inj

  4. primacyone 06/01/2007 at 3:34 PM #

    Should have gone to the bull pen top of the second.

  5. CedarGroveWolf 06/01/2007 at 3:40 PM #

    8-4 western over ecu bot of 5th

  6. Cosmo96 06/01/2007 at 5:27 PM #

    So, are we officially done, or is this double elimination?

  7. redfred2 06/01/2007 at 5:57 PM #

    So, it’s apparently over for this year. What is the bottom line as far AB’s MLB draft picture at this point?

  8. redfred2 06/01/2007 at 6:09 PM #

    Oh Lee the AD, the guy just can’t help himself.

  9. chris92heel 06/01/2007 at 6:58 PM #

    which region is state in?

    guess I should root for the pack – my realtor turned out to be a wuffie and he’s been great ;>

  10. Primewolf 06/01/2007 at 9:04 PM #

    Jed sure has a knack for giving coaching extensions for average performance.

    The BOT needs to look over his shoulder on his every move. Otherwise, CTC would still be coaching and probably would have gotten an extension after the last two years of less than medicrity.

    Keep it up Jed. I expect to hear our volleyball coach get an extension this summer after her last place finish this season. Especially after you called her out at the Raleigh Jamboree and all those great things she is going to do in the future.

  11. SaccoV 06/01/2007 at 9:49 PM #

    Well, since Sendek is gone, there’s no one for Fowler to hang his “progress” on other than Avent. He might just be the best guy around, but “Middle-Man” should be his new nickname. One other thing, although I haven’t done the research, Avent’s teams might be fighting CTC’s teams for most plays to lose ball games. I think some of your crack research folks might have the complete story. I love baseball, especially NC State baseball but the correlation between Avent and Sendek is now turned sickening. But wait … I hear Buddy Bell is open for a new baseball coaching position. Maybe we can hire him.

  12. SaccoV 06/01/2007 at 9:50 PM #

    Well, since Sendek is gone, there’s no one for Fowler to hang his “progress” on other than Avent. He might just be the best guy around, but “Middle-Man” should be his new nickname. One other thing, although I haven’t done the research, Avent’s teams might be fighting CTC’s teams for most plays to lose ball games. I think some of your crack research folks might have the complete story. I love baseball, especially NC State baseball but the correlation between Avent and Sendek has now turned sickening. But wait … I hear Buddy Bell is open for a new baseball coaching position. Maybe we can hire him.

  13. choppack1 06/02/2007 at 9:46 AM #

    One key difference between Sendek and Avent, Sendek took a program that had become a conference joke.

    Avent didn’t walk into that situation. It took him a while to find his bearings – but since he found them – like Sendek, O’Cain and Amato, he hasn’t been able to capture a conference title or do something truly significant nationally.

    At least Amato did us the favor of providing generally unacceptable results 3 years in a row. Much like Sendek 2.0, he seems to have convinced the right people that he’s the right man for the job.

    I actually don’t envy Fowler in a situation like this. You’ve got a non-revenue sport that yearly provides acceptable results, but the acceptable results are the mean, median AND the peak….And that’s really the problem – nothing’s wrong w/ a coach who usually reaches the post-season – that’s what we all want. The problem is, what happens when that’s all you’ve got?

    Generally, coaches like this don’t get fired on the collegiate level – especially in non-revenue sports. I think of 3 coaches who were fired for these type of results – Carl Tacy, Jerry Greene and Frank Solich. However, those were revenue sports. I do prefer when it comes to negotiating contracts w/ coaches of this type of record that you don’t give lengthy extensions or significant raises. Perhaps, the best thing is not to give a raise at all or have the extension worded that these type of results are a “low meets” – if for no other reason, the coach understands that he’s pretty much on probation and is one season away from the firing squad.

  14. ruffles31 06/02/2007 at 1:22 PM #

    I enjoy going to the baseball games and went to about 5 this year. I agree that he is becoming Herb 2.0.

    Here is my beef with Fowler. I haven’t done the research from the start of his time hear in 2001, but I enrolled at State in the fall of 1992. Since 1992, there are 3 teams in all of the BCS conferences that have not won a conference title in any of the major 4 sports:

    Men’s Basketball
    Women’s Basketball

    The ONLY 3 BCS teams without a conference title in the past 14 years are:

    NC State

    I am so happy we are part of this pathetic legacy. (note dripping sarcasm here!)

  15. ruffles31 06/02/2007 at 1:24 PM #

    I will redo my research on the number of teams without a conference title in the major 4 sports since 2001 later today.

    SFN: VERY INTERESTED to see all of this!! We’ll run it all as a feature here on SFN. Thanks

  16. joe 06/02/2007 at 1:46 PM #

    Cal was co-champion of the PAC 10 in FB just last season.

  17. choppack1 06/02/2007 at 2:26 PM #

    Ruffles – Are you sure that’s the case? I don’t doubt you – but if so very telling. I’d also like to see how long this streak goes back. I think our last title in those sports was women’s b’ball, but I’m not sure…I know we had a men’s b’ball title in 87 – but wow.

    Since our drought started in ’92, it’s not far to blame it all on Fowler. I would actually want to see the conference finishing trends in all of these sports, before and during his tenure.

  18. highstick 06/02/2007 at 6:45 PM #

    Has Northwestern won any titles? Vanderbilt??? I’m not saying it’s not the truth either, but it sure sounds really odd???

  19. joe 06/02/2007 at 7:02 PM #

    Northwestern won the Big 10 in FB in 95 and was co-champs in 96 and 2000.

    Vanderbilt won the SEC in Women’s BB in 93,95, 2002, 2004 and 2007. Vandy also won the SEC in baseball in 2007.

  20. StateFans 06/02/2007 at 9:42 PM #

    LSU coach Laval tenders resignation to Bertman
    Athletic director accepts after ‘mutual’ discussions

    Monday, June 05, 2006
    By William Kalec
    Staff writer

    BATON ROUGE — Calling it the hardest situation he’s ever been through, LSU athletic director Skip Bertman accepted the resignation of baseball coach Smoke Laval after the Tigers (35-24) failed to earn an invitation to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly two decades.

    Bertman’s professional relationship with Laval dates to 1984, when Laval joined the LSU staff as an assistant coach.

    In 2000, Bertman strongly advised then-athletic director Joe Dean to hire Laval as the successor when the legendary architect of LSU baseball retired after the Tigers’ New Orleans Super Regional loss to Tulane in 2001 at Zephyr Field. Laval served as an administrative assistant that season, having left his post at Louisiana-Monroe a year early to learn the intricacies of the program during Bertman’s swan song.

    Since then, Laval led LSU to the College World Series in 2003 and 2004, but the Tigers failed to win a game in Omaha, Neb., both times. Returning several key starters on a team ranked in most every publication’s top 5 in 2005, LSU bowed out of the Baton Rouge Regional without forcing Rice into a second Sunday game — the origin of considerable fan dissent that escalated exponentially in the form of several thousand no-shows each home game this season.

    “The expectations for the program are high. They should be,” Bertman said Sunday. “I have high expectations. Our fans have high expectations. I’m committed to bring to LSU the kind of coach that will compete for the Southeastern Conference championship, continue to play with success in the NCAA championships, on a regular basis go to Omaha.

    “LSU baseball has become part of south Louisiana, part of the culture. It deserves the right coach for the program.”

    Bertman, who led the Tigers to five national titles — 1991, ’93, ’96, ’97 and 2000 — said he met with Laval on Sunday morning and reached a decision shortly afterward.

    Asked whether or not Laval and his staff — including assistants Turtle Thomas, Brady Wiederhold and Justin Hill — were fired, forced to resign or willingly resigned, Bertman briefly tiptoed around the issue before suggesting they reached a “mutual” resignation. Still, Laval will be paid the final year of his second contract, which pays him $155,000 annually in base salary.

    “I have enjoyed serving as the coach of the Tigers for the last five years and will always remember the many players who came through this program during that time,” Laval said in a statement. “I feel like we accomplished a lot and achieved some great things in reaching the College World Series twice and competing in four NCAA Tournaments.”

    Laval did not return phone messages left throughout the day. LSU associate sports information director Bill Franques said Laval did not wish to comment beyond the statement.

    Bertman stressed he has not contacted any potential candidate nor any candidate’s representation, and that LSU will pursue replacements only when the teams of prospective coaches have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. Bertman said the athletic department intends to hire a headhunting firm to gauge the interest of possible candidates, but they too will not reach out until the end of that particular coach’s season.

    “I think the guy has to be fan friendly,” said Bertman, who said LSU is willing to pay “market value” for top-name coaches. “I think he has to be media friendly. He’s got to be community-involved. He’s got to (maintain) high standards of the baseball players academically, and Smoke did that. And those things have to be done as well as teaching how to bunt, how to hit, how to pitch, how to throw, how to run.”

    Last Monday, shortly after learning LSU didn’t not qualify for the NCAA Tournament, Laval dismissed the notion that he was concerned or worried about his future with the Tigers.

    On Sunday, his players reacted to the news he had resigned.

    “You always feel guilty as a player,” senior catcher Matt Liuzza said. “We were the ones out there, no matter what the people say about it being the coach’s fault. He’s not out there playing the game.

    “I think he’s a great coach. He knows baseball better than anyone I’ve been around. He knows game situations, (he’s) a great game coach. People ask if he should be fired, I look back at the four years, and I thought he was the right guy for the job.”

    Bertman admitted the importance of regenerating fan interest as a burden the new coach will be forced to endure, considering more than half the 2006 purchased tickets at Alex Box Stadium went unused — a disturbing trend since LSU intends to break ground on a new ballpark scheduled to open for the 2008 season.

    “It’s LSU,” junior pitcher Clay Dirks said. “You come in to fill the shoes of a legend, there’s going to be high expectations. We knew that coming in as players, and he knew that coming in as a coach. You have to hand it to him for coming in and taking it with open arms. It’s not like he wasn’t successful, but at LSU, the only way to be successful is to win the national championship.

    “I’d like to see any type of qualities that come with a good coach. A good leader. A guy who demands respect from his players but also gives it back. A guy who will pat you on the back when things are going well, and one who lets you know when things are going wrong. (But) It’s not like Smoke didn’t do those things.

    “We had a down year.”

  21. ruffles31 06/03/2007 at 10:11 PM #

    SFN, I have finished my updated research on the number of conference titles since September 2000, when our new Athletic Director was hired. I have an Excel file that has all of this information in it. Where do I need to email it and some notes to?

  22. StateFans 06/03/2007 at 11:23 PM #


    send it to [email protected]

  23. highstick 06/04/2007 at 2:01 PM #

    Ruffles, does this mean that our programs during this period haven’t even been “mediocre” as compared to the rest of the BCS teams? Guess this proves Foulup’s motto of “winning isn’t everything, it’s having a pretty facility to play in that matters”!

    Does anyone else think that this “mediocrity tone” set at the top doesn’t impact the rest of the university, not just the athletic department? It scares the heck out of me!

  24. ruffles31 06/04/2007 at 2:54 PM #

    Highstick- Yes, that is correct.

  25. redfred2 06/04/2007 at 5:17 PM #

    highstick, it’s a “It’s alright, look at what such and such did one time. We’re OK.” attitude, and it has to be affecting the whole picture.

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