Posted: 2:45 p.m. Friday, May 24, 2013
By Steven Muma
NC State caught the breaks against Miami on Friday afternoon--pretty much all of them, actually--and ended up cruising past the light-hitting Hurricanes, 7-1. It started to become clear in the second inning that it just wasn't going to be Miami's day; NC State jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the frame despite never hitting a ball out of the infield.
The second started in promising fashion, with two runners on and nobody out. Elliott Avent elected to sacrifice them into scoring position, but after Tarran Senay was caught in a run down between third base and home, it appeared the rally was just about over. It was at that point, with runners on the corners and two outs, that things flew off the rails for Miami, thanks to some shoddy defense. It's difficult to describe just what an oddity of an inning it was--I mean, Trea Turner eventually drove in two runners with an infield single.
Anyway, that was more than enough offense for the Pack, though Logan Jernigan was in trouble almost all afternoon. He had a single 1-2-3 inning, his control failing him to the tune of six walks, but none of that should surprise you by now. Miami's best hitter, a gentleman by the name of David Thompson, had the chance on multiple occasions to drive in runs with a hit but couldn't come through. On this day, the universe decided to spare us a painful dosage of irony.
Jernigan left in the fifth after issuing a pair of walks without recording an out, replaced by Andrew Woeck. Up came Thompson, who hit a grounder to third that nearly allowed State to turn a 5-4-3 triple play. That was the last serious offensive threat the Hurricanes had. Nope, the universe wasn't budging. Woeck, Ryan Wilkins, and Chris Overman combined to pitch five shutout innings of relief and allowed Miami just a single hit.
The Wolfpack offense, meanwhile, added some insurance here and there, but at no point did it feel as though any of that added help would be necessary. Once State got some pitchers into the game who could throw strikes, the game seemed academic.
The win means NC State will play for a spot in the ACC title game tomorrow night against UNC. Carlos Rodon will be on the mound. It is going to be insane.