Story Poster
Elliott Avent (Saturday)
Noah Soles
Carson Kelly
Elliott Avent (Sunday)
J.T. Jarrett
Payton Green
NC State Baseball

DUGOUT REPORT: Wolfpack Sweeps Twelfth-Ranked Yellow Jackets

March 27, 2022

NC State head coach Elliott Avent and select players met with the media following the Wolfpack's three-game sweep over No. 12 Georgia Tech.

Noah Soles hit his first career home run in Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Yellow Jackets, the Wolfpack’s go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Carson Kelly (1-0, 4.41 ERA) picked up his first collegiate win after 2-2/3 innings of relief, striking out three batters and allowing one run on two hits.

In Sunday’s series finale, J.T. Jarrett drove the game-tying run home in the bottom of the sixth inning, ending the game 1-for-2 at the plate with one run scored. Payton Green blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to cap off the Pack’s scoring with NC State taking the win, 6-1.

NOTE: Click on each respective thumbnail to watch each video in the player above.


Elliott Avent

On getting the first ACC series win of the year...

It’s good to be playing better. We played really well at Florida State after that first game and we’ve played really good the first two games here. We’ve still gotta clean some things up, we still make things hard on ourselves. But [Matt] Willadsen pitched great tonight with all the things that were going on and then Carson Kelly came in and pitched really well. Baker Nelson was outstanding, and then [Chris] Villaman finished it up.

On Kelly’s performance...

He’s been good. All fall we thought he was gonna be a guy. He’s a rookie who doesn’t act like a rookie. He belongs out there, he believes he belongs out there, he plays with a lot of confidence, he wants to be out there and the team wants him out there. He’s been outstanding for us all spring.

On Green’s growth...

He gets better and better and better. All first-year guys have to relax in the game. We’re starting four rookies. They’ve gotta keep relaxing and the game can get to you a little bit and you’re emotional and you can’t be that way. You’ve gotta play aggressive and you’ve gotta play consistent and he’ll learn how to do that. He had a big, big hit tonight, and before him, [Will] Marcy had a big walk right in front of him after getting behind. Those were two big at bats from two big rookies.

On switching Green and Josh Hood in the field...

Just trying to relax Payton a little bit, I think I’ve started two freshmen at shortstop in my life: Jonathan Diaz and Jose Torres. Trea Turner started at third his first year. Joe Dunand started at third his first year. Should’ve done it to start with just to relax him a bit. This is a tough game and you come into the ACC as a rookie, you can play, but you need to slow things down and relax things as much as possible and it’s just a move to relax him a bit and he’s done a great job over there.

Noah Soles

On going in to Sunday with a guaranteed series win...

It feels good. We’re finally getting things rolling. Learning team chemistry, but it’s always good to win.

On playing at the collegiate level with Villaman & Logan Whitaker...

Man, it's great. Me and those guys go way back, all the way to high school, travel ball, so it’s fun seeing them do their thing when they’re pitching well, it's always fun to watch. They’re good guys.

On his first collegiate home run...

It’s taken a while, but it definitely feels good. It’s definitely something I’ll cherish for a while.

On the at-bat where he hit a home run to put NC State ahead, 5-4...

Just leading off the inning, I think it’s a tie game, I was just trying to get on for the team and try to get home and try to score. I was able to put a good swing on a good pitch so that’s really it.

Carson Kelly

On his first collegiate win...

It feels good. I’ve been wanting this since the first outing so it feels good to get it under my belt in such a big spot.

On what was going through his head when he came out of the bullpen and into the game...

I was pretty nervous, but I was there last week with Florida State so I felt like I knew what to do and what had to be done. I felt nervous but then again I felt really calm.

On what he felt worked well for him on the mound...

Honestly, my sidearm fastball. That’s what’s been working the whole year this year. I’ve been getting a bunch of swings and misses with it and I was putting it where I wanted to and it all worked out.

On the recent level of competition...

It’s a huge bump. Facing not this caliber of competition early on it was a tough patch for a second, but getting into ACC play we know it’s going to be tough so we’ve got to get ahold of our bearings and buckle down and get ready for it.


Elliott Avent

On sweep against Georgia Tech...

For a while now it has been about getting better. We have just got to keep getting better. This is a really new club. All new players except for J.T. and Devonte [Brown]. It’s playing better baseball. Obviously, through that you can't just keep trying to improve because you have got to get wins, but we started out 1-8 last year in the league with a veteran club, this year 1-4 with not a veteran club. It’s hard to dig out of some holes and this one is a big weekend. We played great at Florida State after that first game last weekend. The 17-inning game was a heartbreaker, but it is still a loss. No matter how great we played, knowing how much we should’ve won that game, it’s still a loss. You don't get graded on a scale of how well you did. So, that is tough but the first two games here with Georgia Tech were just enormous two games. Both games could have gone either way, we found a way to win which is big for these guys, as they are learning how to do things right and win a game against a quality team in Georgia Tech who was picked to win their division. It is a big, big win. To come in and win on Sunday in a game where both guys, [Georgia Tech’s Marquis] Grissom and Whitaker, pitched great, giving their teams the chance to win the game.

On Whitaker’s performance on the mound...

I thought he was outstanding. He threw strikes, he threw three pitches for strikes, he commanded the strike zone and gave us a chance to win. Grissom was good. So he and Grisson both gave their teams a chance.

On reliability of the bullpen...

That’s what I said early on. We didn't know what our lineup was, which you never do. There is not enough preseason for baseball, baseball doesn't have enough preseason before conference play starts. You never know your lineup, you try to learn your bullpen. We were at Florida State last weekend talking with their pitching coach, and he’s trying to figure their bullpen. Everyone is trying to do that. So through that there are some pains. Last year, we had to figure out Evan Justice and what that bullpen did. Right now, we’re getting a pretty good idea of who we need to pitch and they have got to keep getting better. I thought today that the bullpen this weekend with Baker Nelson, Justin Lawson, Canaan Silver, were really good. I thought Garrett Payne came in and pitched a good ninth.

On J.T. Jarrett’s game-tying squeeze play...

He’s just a veteran player. He is kind of the glue and has been a part of our ball club for four years now. You notice the two weeks he was out with the hamstring it wasn't a good two weeks for us. He is a big, big part of our ball club. That was a big play of the game. That was a good call by Coach  [Chris] Hart and a big execution by J.T.

J.T. Jarrett

On ending the weekend with a sweep...

Coach just talked to us, and we know sweeps are hard to come by; so, after two tough opening weekends where we had the chance to win some of those games and couldn't, it’s good to get three in a row here with Georgia Tech. They’re a good team, and ACC wins are hard to come by so I’m glad we got three this weekend.

On squeeze play...

I mean, I don't know, not a lot of thought goes into it. He’s a slider guy, and so with runners in scoring position that was probably what I was going to get. I got the sign to lay one down, just looking for something up, stay in the box, and get it down. I did and good things happened.

On plays going NC State’s way...

You know with two strikes, just putting something in play because something might happen, people make errors. Coach Hart always tells us as a defense we can't give away - you can't give teams extra outs. When someone gives us extra outs you have to take advantage of it. That is kind of the thought process there.

On if it felt like the team believed the tide would eventually turn even when trailing...

Yeah, we barrelled some balls, I felt like early in the game eventually some of those would drop. Overall, as an offense, you compete with two strikes and find some barrels. At the end of the day, that is all you can really do.

On the environment of ECU Tuesday...

They have a good environment, you know we played at Florida State last weekend that was a good environment or test for the rest of the ACC road games and midweek ones. But you know ECU is fun to play at, I grew up there, my dad coached there for a little bit. I’m familiar with it but for the new guys at the end of the day you are playing baseball. If we can tune that out we will be alright.

Payton Green

On sweep this weekend...

I thought we played well as a team. Coming off last weekend at Florida State that was tough with the loss, especially in extra innings. We did well today, played well Friday and Saturday and then today finished it out. It was a good momentum booster going into ECU.

On moving from shortstop to third base...

It has been alright. I played a little bit there in high school, but it’s been pretty much the same thing. The ball gets on you a little harder but the transition has been pretty smooth so far. I’ve had no problems with it.

On confidence at the plate...

I am starting to see the ball a little bit better now. I think just trying to put the ball in play and help out the team is spiraling for that. I think I am starting to see the ball a little bit better.

DUGOUT REPORT: Wolfpack Sweeps Twelfth-Ranked Yellow Jackets

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