NC State forces third game
June 3, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - Vanderbilt erased an early five-run deficit but the No. 16 North Carolina State Wolfpack scratched out a run in the eighth to win 6-5 and force a winner-take-all game tomorrow at Doak Field.
The Commodores (35-27) pushed two runs across in the seventh inning to tie the game 5-5. But the Pack responded in the bottom of the eighth to regain the lead. A one-out single from Brett Austin started the rally and Matt Bergquist's single through the right side plated the winning run. NC State (42-18) pitcher Ryan Wilkins then worked a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts to finish off the win.
The Pack raced out to an early lead scoring in four of the first five innings, including a pair of home runs. A solo shot in the bottom of the first inning from Ryan Mathews and a two-run homer in the third from Trae Turner made it 3-0 through three innings. NC State tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth before the Dores jumped on the comeback trail again.
A sacrifice fly off the bat of Spencer Navin scored Conard Gregor, who reached on a one-out double, to put VU on the board for the first time. Tony Kemp led off the sixth with a walk and came around to score on Mike Yastrzemski's triple. A groundout to short scored Yastrzemski and cut the Wolfpack lead to 5-3. Connor Castellano singled to open the seventh and was followed by a walk to Kemp. With runners on second and third, Yastrzemski's bouncer to second scored Castellano to get Vandy within a run. Gomez came up with another clutch hit, ripping a double to score Kemp and tie the game.
The Dores looked to have a rally started in the eighth when Navin led off with a crisp single to left field. But a ground out to second and double play ended the inning. Navin was thrown out on the backside of the double play at third trying to advance on a ground ball to third base.
Drew VerHagen (6-3) took the loss despite four solid innings out of the bullpen. The big right-hander allowed two runs on five hits, retiring eight straight batters before allowing Austin's single in the eighth inning. Wilkins (4-2) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of work. Vanderbilt starter Kevin Ziomek lasted 3.1 innings giving up four runs on five hits. NC State starter Anthony Tzamtzis allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits over 6.2 innings.
The Commodores and Wolfpack will play in a winner-take-all game tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CT. The winner of the Raleigh Regional will advance to play top overall seed Florida next weekend in Gainesville, Fla.