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NC State Baseball

Defensive Miscues Doom Wolfpack as Rams Even Series

February 17, 2024

No. 13 NC State (1-1) drops the second game of its three-game series to VCU (1-1) Saturday afternoon at Doak Field, 9-6.

The Wolfpack offense was bolstered by four home runs by Noah SolesAlec Makarewicz, and Matt Heavner with Soles leaving the yard twice. However, State’s four errors in the field allowed the Rams to overcome the Pack’s bats, shifting the tide with a five-run fifth inning where two of those miscues were committed.

Dominic Fritton started on the mound and struck out four batters but left after getting charged with six runs, five earned, on five hits and one walk over 4-1/3 innings. Logan Whitaker (0-1, 4.91 ERA) picked up the loss after surrendering three runs, two earned, over his 3-2/3 innings of work, striking out three while also giving up five hits. Jacob Dudan pitched a shutout inning in the ninth.

Soles got the game’s scoring started in the bottom of the first, plastering Christan Gordon’s first pitch over the wall in right field. Three batters later, Jacob Cozart reached base on a two-out single before coming home on a two-run shot by Makarewicz.

The Rams’ first rebuttal came in the top of the third when Cooper Benzin ended what had been a perfect outing by Fritton to that point with a solo home run. However, Soles responded in the bottom of the frame with his second four-bagger on the day. Alex Sosa added to the Pack’s lead later in the inning with an RBI single, bringing Garrett Pennington home. VCU managed another run in the fourth inning when Brandon Eike singled, moved to second on an error by Makarewicz, then traversed to the plate thanks to back-to-back groundouts by Aden Hill and Chris McHugh. One inning later, State’s lead would vanish.

Jake Thilges led off the top of the fifth with a double. Two batters later, Benzin would drive him home with a base hit. Nic Ericsson and Casey Kleinman would reach base on a single and a walk, respectively, to load the bases for Eike who plated Benzin with a sacrifice fly. Hill then tied the game single to center field with Ericsson crossing the plate, but an error by Eli Serrano, III would put runners on second and third. McHugh gave the Rams the lead with a two-run base hit to left field.

Heavner halved the VCU lead in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a one-out solo shot off of Cade Dressler (1-0, 2.25 ERA). However, the Rams added insurance runs in the seventh inning when Kleinman bunted his way aboard before Eike drilled Whitaker’s 0-1 pitch over the center-field wall.  From there, Owen Tappy would retire all six Wolfpack batters he faced over the final two innings to secure the save for VCU.

The rubber match between the Wolfpack and the Rams is set for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. 

Defensive Miscues Doom Wolfpack as Rams Even Series

900 Views | 0 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Daniel Wilson
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