A&T Goes Up EaState Early, Pack Pull Away Late
RALEIGH – For 5 ½ innings, the North Carolina A&T baseball team played even with No. 8 N.C. State. But the Wolfpack put the game out of reach with a 10-run, nine-hit inning that included five Aggie errors as the Pack earned a 17-4 win over A&T at Doak Field Wednesday afternoon.
A&T freshman shortstop Brandon Mitchell broke out of a 4-for-32 slump by going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Junior Ryan Hill and seniors Cameron Jergens, and Stefan Jordan had two hits apiece for the Aggies (6-4). Jergens improved his hitting streak to eight games. He is hitting .414 during the eight-game streak.
Sophomore left-hander DarAmani Swift had another solid mid-week outing by pitching three innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out one against the nationally-ranked Pack. In fact, when he left the game, the Aggies were winning.
The Aggies trailed 2-1 going into their half of the third. But Mitchell opened the inning with a single off left-hand starter Patrick Peterson. Hill followed with a single and senior Luke Tendler loaded the bases when he drew a walk from Peterson. Freshman John Pope roped a single to left field to send home Mitchell to tie the game at 2.
Jergens gave A&T the lead with an RBI sacrifice fly to left center as Hill scored his 11th run of the season. With Jordan at the plate, Peterson then unleashed a wild pitch, allowing Tendler to score for a 4-2 Aggies lead.
A&T’s lead held up until the Pack’s fifth. With one out and the bases loaded, Kyle Cavanaugh hit a grounder Mitchell at short. Mitchell threw home trying to get Trea Turner. The throw was late, allowing Turner to score. But Jordan, the Aggies catcher, caught Cavanaugh trying to go to second and threw him out trying to get back to first.
NCSU’s Jake Armstrong was also thrown out on the play, but a throwing error by Aggies second baseman Timothy Ravare allowed Jake Fincher to score on the same play to tie the game at 4. The Pack would then put together its big sixth inning to put the game away.
Andrew Knizer led the Pack by going 3-for-5 with three RBI and a home run. Cavanaugh drove in three runs and Fincher went 2-for-3 with three runs scored. RHP Andrew Woeck (2-0) picked up the win in relief. RHP Justin Godette (0-1) took the loss in relief. N .C. State improved to 10-2.
The Aggies are back in action Saturday when they participate in the Davidson tournament in Davidson, N.C. A&T opens the tournament against UMass 1 p.m., Saturday. After playing UMass, the Aggies will play tournament-host Davidson at 4:30 p.m., Saturday. They close the tournament against Davidson with a 4 p.m., game on Sunday.