The NC State Club Baseball team is off to a thrilling start this fall season with a 4-0 record after sweeping UNC-Charlotte at home this past weekend. The doubleheader that took place Saturday was a nail-biting event after the Wolfpack came away from the first game 8-6 and scathed by in the second game in extra innings, winning 9-8.
NC State gathered an early lead against the 49ers after putting up eight runs in the first two innings, but Charlotte fought its way back slowly throughout the seven-inning game.
After a three-up, three-down scenario in the top of the first, the Wolfpack began its offensive streak after a hit-by-pitch and stolen base put sophomore Bailey Jones on second with two outs. With Sam Schneggenburger walking up to the plate, the senior was able to smash a single to left field to bring in the first run of the game. Two more singles from seniors Clayton Hansen and Justin Cook added one more run to the board before an error from the second baseman increased NC State’s lead to three before the end of the first.
The Pack managed the load the bases in the bottom of the second, putting pressure on Charlotte’s defense once again. After a pair of singles and a hit by pitch, senior Casey Ritchie hit a hard ground ball to shortstop, bringing in the runner on third. A sacrifice bunt and a walk reloaded the bases after NC State took an even bigger lead at 5-1 before a huge throwing error from the right fielder tacked on three more Wolfpack runs.
Staying in a steady lead throughout the entire seven-inning game, the 49ers managed to make a slight comeback in the fifth after a three-run home run narrowed the lead to four, but nonetheless the Pack pulled out the win, ending with two straight strikeouts for sophomore Ryan Sholar.
After a successful first game earlier in the day for the Pack, Charlotte jumped out on top early in the next match up to keep a 5-0 lead up until the fifth inning. Freshman Austin Lutrell put NC State on the board for the first time all game in the bottom of the fifth after delivering a one-out single to bring in a run, but that was just the beginning for the Wolfpack.
Jones came in to pitch for the Pack in the fifth inning and put a stop to the 49ers scoring by tossing two shutout innings. With Jones covering the defensive side of the game, NC State was able to focus its time on its hitting game by scoring a total of five runs in the fifth and sixth to force extra innings. As the two teams headed into the eighth, Charlotte was able to get another jump ahead by putting up three runs before heading into the bottom of the half.
Lutrell and Schneggenburger were the two heroes of the game after they both brought in crucial runs to the Pack’s win. Lutrell rocketed a single to the outfield to bring in two runs, and a passed ball scored the tying run. Tied at eight, Schneggenburger came up to bat with the winning ball waiting to be hit. The senior walked it off with an infield single to bring in his teammate at third base, giving the Pack its fourth win of the season.
Up next, NC State will travel to face Coastal Carolina, Oct. 26-27 for its final series of the fall before heading into conference play.