I’m purposely delaying my baseball preview until Sunday to allow the UVa basketball game to get the attention it deserves. However, I thought I would at least point out that Rhode Island, Santa Clara and Xavier are in town as the Wolfpack season gets underway. State’s first game gets going in a few minutes against Rhode Island, with Jake Buchanan getting the ball to open the year.
Without giving away too much of the preview– one thing to watch this year will be the impact of freshmen on this team. True freshman John Gianis is apparently getting a start in left today.
Since many got interested in the baseball team as last season progresses, I figured I’d get something up before the first pitch. Feel free to use this thread for in game comments– I will try to post game updates periodically.
First Inning: Buchanan goes 1-2-3 with one strikeout on 16 pitches. State puts runners on first and second with one out, new arrival Drew Poulk (Dallas’ cousin) strikes out, Ferguson walks to load the bases. True freshman Pratt Maynard delivers a 2-run single to get the pack on the board. For those who like trivia, the answer to “Who got the first Wolfpack hit in 2009” is Kyle Wilson.
Second Inning: Buchanan 1-2-3. Dallas Poulk scored Gianis on a double to left field. The Wolfpack lead 3-0 after two innings of play.
Third Inning: Buchanan 1-2-3 (Need to macro this on my keyboard). Maynard draws a two out walk and Chris Schaeffer makes them pay with a 2-run shot to left. I said it last year, and I’ll say it again this year: walks + aluminum bats = bad for pitchers. 5-0 State after 3 innings of play.
Fourth Inning: Buchanan gives up a single followed by a two-run homer, but calms down to retire the side. State answers with a run on a Kyle Wilson sacrifice fly. 6-2 State after 4 innings of play.
Fifth Inning: Buchanan gives up a couple of hits, but State escapes the inning unscathed. The Wolfpack pick up a two out single from Scaeffer, but the inning ends after he is caught stealing. I really hope that was a busted hit-and-run. Kyle Rutter comes on to pitch the sixth for State.
Sixth Inning: Rutter comes in shaky, giving up a two-run homer. No more damage is done. State gets a run back on a Drew Martin single. 7-4 State after 6 innings of play.
Seventh Inning: Rutter has made this a game with a very shaky outing today. Then again, the hitters might have been ready to tee off on anyone not named Buchanan. Mazzoni came in to get the last two outs after Rutter allowed 2 runs. Nothing for state in the bottom of the inning. 7-6 Wolfpack with 2 innings to play.
Eighth Inning: The bullpen continues to struggle, as Rhode Island plates 5 runs in the top of the frame. Kyle Wilson drives in a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 11-8 Rhode Island through eight innings.
Ninth Inning: Pretty uneventfull, although the Pack did bring the tying run to the plate with 2 out. State drops it 11-8 despite a nice start from Buchanan. Look for these types of games to occur less frequently as starters stretch further into games and the bullpen gets sorted out behind Gilheeney and Cutler.