CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NC State baseball (34-20) got its revenge on Tuesday afternoon over Wake Forest (39-17-1) in its first game of ACC Championship pool play with an 11-8 comeback victory at Triust Field.
The Wolfpack had suffered a series sweep to the Demon Deacons in its last time out to close out nonconference play, but managed to score six runs in the fifth after trailing early, and five more in the seventh en route to securing the win and put itself on the brink of its third-straight semifinal berth.
Wake Forest got on the board in the first inning thanks to a double play after Tommy Hawke and Pierce Bennett led off with hits and Michael Turconi drew a walk to load the bases up with no outs.
The Demon Deacons plated three more runs in the fourth, extending their lead to 4-0. Brendan Tinsman and Nick Kurtz started the frame with a single and double to the right side of the diamond, and Brock Wilken drove in the first run with an infield single. Danny Corona then delivered with a two-out 2-RBI double to right center to score the other two runs.
NC State made a six-run surge in the fifth to take its first lead of the day at 6-4. The Pack got on the board when Jacob Cozart came through with a two-run double down the right field line, sending Noah Soles and Dominic Pilolli home after they both drew walks and moved into scoring position on Payton Green’s fly out to deep center field.
LuJames Groover III, Josh Hood and J.T. Jarrett added four more runs in the frame on a pair of run-scoring doubles and a bases-loaded walk.
Wake made it a one-run game in the sixth on Jake Reinisch’s RBI single to right center after Wilken led off with a triple to right field, but the Pack answered in the seventh with five runs to take an 11-5 lead. Hood belted a solo shot over the left field wall to start the scoring, and then an RBI triple by Pilolli followed by back-to-back homers from Payton Green and Devonte Brown brought the other four runs across.
In the bottom of the seventh the Deacs cut into their deficit with three runs to make it 11-8 on Kurtz’s RBI double to left field and Wilken’s two-run shot to left field.
Wake looked to rally in the ninth, bringing the game-tying run to the plate with two outs after a walk, passed ball and fielding error put runners at the corners, but a swinging strikeout ended the game.
Cozart (2-for-2) and Hood (2-for-5) combined for half of the team’s hits in the contest and drove in a combined five runs on the day as Hood tallied three RBIs and Cozart had two.
On the mound Justin Lawson, Canaan Silver and Chris Villaman combined for the win. Lawson tossed the first 4.2 innings of the contest, then gave way to Silver who went 1.1 innings to improve to 7-1 on the year. Villaman closed out the game, hurling three innings to pick up his 10th save of the year.
NC State will wrap up its pool play portion of the tournament Wednesday when it faces third-seeded Miami at 7 p.m. at Truist Field. With a win, the Pack would advance to the semifinals Saturday.