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NC State Baseball

MCLAMB: Focus On Monday

June 15, 2024
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For NC State, the loss to Kentucky was painful — there is no dancing around it. The Wolfpack was three outs away from massive leverage that being in the winner's bracket provides. 

It is going to take character and confidence to bounce back successfully. It also will take a selective memory. 

The Wolfpack will have to win five out of six games, including at least three straight, to win a national championship in Omaha. NCSU did exactly that to get to the College World Series. That is the stat that the Pack can lean on, knowing that nothing is settled.

To get that far, it will also take NC State forgetting the one that got away. 

It was there for the taking, but State came up short against the Wildcats. On a day where the ball seemed to carry only on a whim, Kentucky used solo homers in the ninth and 10th innings to advance to the winner's bracket. 

Sam Highfill laid it on the line, which has become more than a habit for him. It is now a lifestyle. Highfill has earned NC State legend status. He gave the Pack seven innings of terrific pitching. The Apex, N.C. native has never lost to an SEC school in his career and continues to be there when his team needs him most. 

Once again, that is a marker for this team. If it emulates Highfill's effort and passion, NC State has a lot of baseball left this season.

Both Jacob Dudan and Derrick Smith will be trusted to lead the Pack through the maze and into next week's best-of-three final. They had slip-ups Saturday, but they have long since earned the trust to be counted upon in big moments. NC State can do it but needs them to forget if they will do it.

The hitting for NCSU usually comes through but seems to struggle about once every week or two. It happened against Duke in Charlotte. The Georgia Bulldogs did enough to lock up the Pack in the second game of the Super Regional. Again, NC State has always responded. 

The formula is simple: Forget the where and why, and just remember the how. Champions usually get tested sternly along the way. 

South Carolina and Georgia tested NC State on its path to Omaha, and now Kentucky has done so. The Wolfpack responded to the first two. 

NC State became elite by playing for each other, not getting lost in the moment, and making things happen when the chances were there. Those are the same things that they have to do to reach the final of the College World Series. It is hard, but not nearly impossible. 

But yes, that was a tough loss for the Pack. 

MCLAMB: Focus On Monday

4,106 Views | 21 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by BreakPoint
FoCoWolfie
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As my brother just said, "It could be worse. It could be five games in five days."
Packfanme1
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Good perspective! Go Pack!
Jesus, Family, Wolfpack!
pbr1973
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We have to win 4 straight and 6 of 7. Right?
Rob McLamb
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Staff
pbr1973 said:

We have to win 4 straight and 6 of 7. Right?
Someone said that in the Zoom. It could be correct. If so, I do think the point still stands. NC State has a hard task, but not an impossible one.
Twitter: @RobMcLamb
kmb717
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Rob McLamb said:

pbr1973 said:

We have to win 4 straight and 6 of 7. Right?
Someone said that in the Zoom. It could be correct. If so, I do think the point still stands. NC State has a hard task, but not an impossible one.


4 straight to make it to the finals. Then 2 of 3 to win the finals series. So yes.
Wolfpackrich1
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Monday, Monday, Monday! Focus on Monday! Doing as ordered.
DecaturWolf
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I'm in. I believe!
poexcuse
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Thanks to IPS for committing to quality in person coverage of the CWS. Of course thanks to the, always first class, Rob McLamb. It's nice to have your words, from Omaha. It's great that the Pack team and our fans are there, even in the most frustrating of games. Go Pack!
Wolfpack91
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Focus on Monday. You got to take them one game at a time.
pbr1973
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I agree Rob! We can get it done. One day at a time. We have the pitching to make it through this stretch! No work will get done Monday afternoon! Consider it an extension of Father's Day!
Francis
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And the mystery opponent for tomorrow is Florida!!
pbr1973
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With their best starter on the mound I believe
pblanks
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It's 4 to get to the championship series: win the losers bracket game, beat the loser of the winners bracket, and then beat the winner of the winners brackets x 2

While a lot easier if you sweep in the winners bracket, it's only winning one extra game.
DrummerboyWolf
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pblanks said:

It's 4 to get to the championship series: win the losers bracket game, beat the loser of the winners bracket, and then beat the winner of the winners brackets x 2

While a lot easier if you sweep in the winners bracket, it's only winning one extra game.
But it's playing 2 extra games to get there. Unfortunately that will eat up a lot of pitching. It's very possible, but we are going to have to get some breaks.
Being an N. C. State fan builds great character!
matracey
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Gotta have a blowout win somewhere where you can get your starter out of the game after like 4 innings and then let the backend of the bullpen ride it out.

Highfill not available again until at earliest Wednesday, more likely Thursday and then only for 2-3 innings at most I would think
Lsnoel3
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I hope they go with Logan. He deserves to pitch in Omaha.
Alex Gee
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matracey said:

Gotta have a blowout win somewhere where you can get your starter out of the game after like 4 innings and then let the backend of the bullpen ride it out.

Highfill not available again until at earliest Wednesday, more likely Thursday and then only for 2-3 innings at most I would think


I think Sam would and could make a full start Thursday if necessary. He's gone 100+ in short weeks after throwing 100+ before. Duke to ND for example this year.

Whitaker, Fritton, Marohn, Highfill. Repeat. That can win 4 in a row and then take 2 from someone. Have to hit and help them.

Also, everyone is gonna face some attrition here. These games have been killer so far and everyone is emptying the gun.
Glasswolf
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These next few games are where hitting is going to be the biggest factor. Not saying pitching is a key. Everyone's arms are going to be stretched. Runs are important.
Glasswolf
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Watch how fast FSU and UVA go through pitching today unless one is just cruising.
Glasswolf
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Wolfpackrich1 said:

Monday, Monday, Monday! Focus on Monday! Doing as ordered.
There is no Tuesday without a win on Monday. Worry about Tuesday after we beat Florida.
BreakPoint
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I just feel like the Pack is going to get it done. I know yesterday was a kick in the nads, but every tournament involves adversity along the way. Have some faith. I still believe it's our time.
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