Over the next three days, Technician’s sports editors will be counting down the top 18 moments for NC State sports in 2018. Part one, and moments 13-18 include a record-setting day for football, a top-10 win for men’s basketball, a pair of big wins for baseball and standout seasons for men’s golf and gymnastics.
18. Football’s record-breaking day- When this season’s matchup between NC State football and West Virginia was canceled, the Wolfpack added a 12th game against East Carolina at Carter-Finley Stadium. NC State dismantled its in-state rival 58-3 in a game that saw a number of school records broken.
Thanks to their performances against ECU, freshman kicker Chris Dunn now holds the single-season field goal record with 21, redshirt junior receiver Jakobi Meyers holds the catch record with 89 and senior running back Reggie Gallaspy holds the total touchdown record with 19. The extra game allowed the Pack’s seniors to go out with a bang and have some fun, including a rushing touchdown for graduate center Garrett Bradbury that saw senior guard Terronne Prescod punt the ball into the stands to celebrate, encapsulating the day.
17. Gymnastics takes first at EAGL Championships- Back in March,NC State gymnastics won the East Atlantics Gymnastics Conference Championships with a team score of 196.625, narrowly defeating New Hampshire.
From there, the team hosted NCAA Regionals in Reynolds Coliseum in April. The Pack placed third in the regional, one spot short of qualifying for the NCAA Nationals, but achieved its highest regional score in school history at 196.05.
NC State’s third-place finish at regionals was among five top-25 teams and the team ended the season at No. 20 in the country.
16. Men’s golf qualifies for NCAA Championships- Under first-year head coach Press McPhaul, the NC State men’s golf team finished third at the NCAA Raleigh Regional in May to qualify for the NCAA Championships. It marked the first time since 2011 that the Pack had qualified for NCAAs. Then juniors Stephen Franken and Justin Hood both finished in the top 10 of the regional to lead the Pack.
NC State went on to finish 24th at NCAAs. Sophomore Benjamin Shipp finished 83rd to lead the way for NC State.
15. Baseball sweeps No. 2 Clemson- Head coach Elliott Avent and his squad had an exciting 2018 season, hosting a regional and sending a handful of players to the MLB draft. The height of its early-season success came in the form of a three-game sweep of then No. 2 Clemson in Clemson, South Carolina.
The Pack won 4-0, 6-1 and 5-4 to show NC State fans and the rest of the country that this team was for real. Junior shortstop Will Wilson led NC State going 6 for 12 with four RBIs, four runs scored and two walks in the series. This included two solo home runs in the final game: one in the first inning and one to give the Pack a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning.
14. Baseball defeats UNC-Chapel Hill in Durham- NC State continued its impressive season in April defeating then No. 8 UNC 8-3 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Ranked at No. 2 in the country at the time, this was a huge win for the team before facing Duke and UNC again in the following two series.
The Pack was led by sophomore catcher Patrick Bailey and senior first baseman Evan Edwards who went 5 for 10 combined with three runs scored and six RBIs. They each homered in the win.
13. Men’s basketball tops No. 7 Auburn- Following a breakout first season under head coach Keatts, NC State men’s basketball ripped off a 12-1 start to the season in non-conference play. The highlight of that was a 78-71 win over then No. 7 Auburn at PNC Arena.
The Wolfpack led a strong Tigers team for pretty much the entire game. Thanks to a career-high 27 points, including 5 3-pointers on 8 attempts, from junior point guard Markell Johnson, as well as 15 points apiece from sophomore guards Braxton Beverly and Devon Daniels, Keatts and the Wolfpack picked up a signature win in non-conference play.
The win improved Keatts’ record against top-10 opponents to 4-1 as NC State’s head coach and earned the Pack the No. 20 spot in the AP Poll, its first top-25 ranking since 2013.
This series will continue Sunday with the 7th-12th top moments for NC State in 2018.