NC State Edges No. 4 Tech Baseball, 6-5
April 30, 2010
RALEIGH, N.C. - Jake Buchanan fanned a career-high 13 batters, and the bottom of the order combined for six hits and three RBI to lead NC State (27-17, 10-12 ACC) to a 6-5 win over No. 4 Georgia Tech (35-8, 16-6 ACC) Friday night at Doak Field in Raleigh, N.C.
"We are in it in about every game, and have a chance to win every game," Head coach Danny Hall said. "We just need to play better and make adjustments at the plate. We are striking out way too much, and not making adjustments in our at-bats that we need to in order to put balls in play and get some hits."
Buchanan scattered five runs on six hits in 7.2 innings to improve his record to 5-4 on the season. His 13 strikeouts were four more than his previous career high.
"We couldn't make any adjustments at the plate on him, so you have to give him credit," Hall added. "He made his pitches and executed when he needed to. We almost found a way in the end to tie it, but the shortstop made a great play to end the game."
The bottom half of the order for NC State - Chris Schaeffer, John Gianis and Matt Bergquist -- combined for six hits, four runs and three RBI on Friday. Schaeffer led the way for the Wolfpack, adding a double and a home run on his 2-for-3 performance.
Tech junior Deck McGuire fell to 5-3 with the loss, allowing five runs - four earned - on 10 hits. McGuire struck out eight batters in 6.0 innings, but tied his career-high in hits allowed with 10.
"NC State is a good hitting team," Hall said. "They have a lot of power up and down their lineup, and that showed here tonight. We compounded some of Deck's [McGuire] problems (on the mound) by not making some plays, and making some boo-boos defensively. When you give somebody extra outs they are going to score runs and that's what happened tonight."
Thomas Nichols led the Jackets offensively, going 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBI.
NC State jumped out to a 2-1 lead with some small ball in the third inning Friday. The Wolfpack plated two runs on four straight singles off of McGuire. NC State continued to go after the junior right-hander with four more hits an inning later. Schaeffer sent a solo home run to left field, before McGuire walked home a run with the bases loaded.
"Deck [McGuire] is competing great, but he is making too many mistakes," Hall said. "He is not throwing the ball where it needs to go, and as good as he is, I don't care who you are, if you are executing your pitches and hitting your spots then you have a chance to get hurt."
Nichols hit his second home run in the fifth inning, a deep two-run shot to center that cut the lead to 4-3. It was the ninth homer of the season the Leesburg, Ga. native, and his second multi-home run game of the season.
Sophomore Evan Martin and junior Jeff Rowland kept the inning alive with two outs, as Martin singled to third and Rowland was hit by a pitch. Junior Derek Dietrich sent a single to right field on the next at-bat that plated Martin to tie the game.
NC State climbed back on top in the bottom half, as Harold Riggins scored from third on a groundout to second by Gianis.
The Wolfpack loaded the bases on Tech reliever Buck Farmer in the seventh, and extended the lead to 6-4 after a run scored on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Matt Skole gave Tech life with a 2-out RBI-single to center that scored Dietrich from second to cut the score to 6-5 in the eighth.
The Jackets had one final chance to tie the game with a runner on second and two outs in the ninth, but NC State's Bergquist made an incredible leaping grab at shortstop on a sharp liner by Rowland to end the game.
The series continues Saturday with a 1 p.m. start at Doak Field. The game will be televised live on Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Atlanta).