NC State evens series with Georgia

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

NC State 10 Georgia 6

ATHENS, Ga. – NC State’s bats weren’t powerful Saturday afternoon, but they were productive.

The Wolfpack generated double-digit scoring with 10 singles, two doubles and nine walks and received strong pitching performances from freshman Jake Buchanan and sophomore Alex Sogard to beat Georgia 10-3 Saturday afternoon in Game 2 of the NCAA Athens Super Regional.

The two teams will play the decisive game in the best-of-three series Sunday at 4 p.m. at Georgia’s Foley Field, with the winner earning a bid to next week’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The game will be televised by ESPN and carried by the Wolfpack Sports Network locally on WKNC 88.1-FM and globally on GoPack.com.

Georgia’s offense, which had scored 67 runs in its first six NCAA games, was stymied as NC State associate head coach Tom Holliday turned to the right-handed Buchanan in hopes of silencing the Bulldogs’ prolific right-handed hitters.

Bulldog third baseman Ryan Peisel started the game with a 375-foot blast over the right-centerfield wall on Buchanan’s second pitch of the contest. It was Peisel’s fourth lead-off homer of the season.

The Wolfpack (42-20) answered quickly, though, thanks to a Ryan Pond walk, a wild pitch and a run-scoring single by centerfielder Marcus Jones. Buchanan, making just his fourth start of the season, recovered from his one bad pitch to turn in a sparking 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs.

Head coach Elliott Avent’s offense got two RBIs from four different players and all but one starter had at least one hit, as the Pack scratched out three runs in the third, four more in the bottom of the seventh and a pair in the bottom of the eighth.

Avent’s team scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the third with a walk and four singles to chase starter Nathan Moreau. Pond started the inning with his second consecutive one-out walk. Matt Payne and Jeremy Synan followed with singles to score Pond, and Wilson followed with his second single of the day to score Payne. Foschi greeted new pitcher Stephen Dodson with a run-scoring single to right field on a hit-and-run.

Buchanan (3-2) pitched out of a jam in the top of the fourth, allowing one run on an RBI-single to Joey Lewis. But the Bulldogs stranded runners on first and second to end the inning.

The Bulldogs (40-22-1) cut the lead to one in the top of the fifth, after Buchanan walked right fielder Matt Olson and gave up a run-scoring double to All-America shortstop Gordon Beckham.

Sogard replaced Buchanan with one out in the top of the sixth and allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings. The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but closer Eryk McConnell recored the game’s final out in a non-save situation. He gave up a two-run single to Georgia designated hitter Bryce Massanari, then ended the game by striking out Georgia centerfielder Matt Cerione.

The Wolfpack put runners on second and third in the bottom of the seventh when Martin walked and second baseman Dallas Poulk slashed a doubled down the left-field line. Poulk showed bunt on his first pitch and chopped the ball over Georgia third baseman Peisel’s head for the two-base hit.

Pond added a run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield and the Pack loaded the bases on three consecutive walks. Shortstop Tommy Foschi also drove in a run with a two-out screamer down the left-field line that he legged out for a double.

Based on a coin toss conducted prior to the first game, Georgia will be the home team in Sunday’s decisive game.