The NC State baseball team completed the perfect three-game sweep of the Ruston Regional with a 14-7 win over Louisiana Tech Sunday night.
With the win, NC State advances to its first Super Regional since 2013, the same year where the Wolfpack made it to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Lots of credit to our team,” said NC State head coach Elliott Avent. “I’m just really proud of everybody.”
The Wolfpack (33-17) bats were all over the Bulldogs (42-20) pitching as it registered 19 hits. Every NC State batter had at least one hit.
“Our one through nine just finds ways to do their job,” Avent said. “Nobody tries to do too much, nobody tries to hit home runs, nobody tries to be the guy they don't have to because they know they can just pass it to the next guy.”
The Wolfpack trailed early thanks to a pair of two-run home runs from Parker Bates, who put his team on his back.
Playing as the home team in Ruston, Louisiana, NC State responded with its first runs in the second inning. With the bases loaded in the pouring rain right before a short weather delay, junior designated hitter Terrell Tatum (3-5, 2 RBI) delivered a two-RBI single to get NC State on the board.
In the fourth inning, the Wolfpack kept rallying thanks to a solo home run to center field from sophomore catcher Luca Tresh (1-4, 2 RBI, HR).
Bates continued to rake at the plate with an RBI triple to left-center field to push the Bulldogs lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning.
It was the bottom half of the fifth inning that returned control of the game and the regional to NC State. A two-RBI double to right field from junior left fielder Jonny Butler (2-4, 2 RBI, BB) tied the game. Later in the inning a grand-slam from junior right fielder Devonte Brown (2-4, 5 RBI, HR) to right field gave NC State a four-run lead.
B5 | DEVONTE BROWN GRAND SLAM TO PUT US OUT FRONT!📺ESPN3NCSU 9, LA TECH 5 pic.twitter.com/Ka5VfKLsQm— #Pack9 ⚾️ (@NCStateBaseball) June 7, 2021
“I was really just trying to hit the ball hard, put a barrel on something,” Brown said. “When we took that lead I knew we were going to win the game from that moment.”
The Wolfpack continued to pour it on in the sixth inning with four more runs to give itself a 13-5 lead. It started with a two-RBI double to right field from freshman shortstop Jose Torres (1-4, 2 RBI), then an RBI fielder’s choice from Tresh and an RBI sacrifice fly to center field from Brown kept the scoring coming.
In the seventh inning, freshman left-handed pitcher Chris Villaman (3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K) came into the game to relieve starting freshman right-handed pitcher Matt Willadsen (6 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). Despite the shaky start, Willadsen settled in and gave his team a chance to win while striking out five Bulldogs.
Despite the eight-run deficit, Louisiana Tech did not quit. The Bulldogs cut the Wolfpack lead to six after Hunter Wells crushed a two-run home run to left field.
NC State added one more insurance run in the eight inning on an RBI infield single from junior first baseman Austin Murr (3-6, RBI).
The Wolfpack will now advance to the Super Regionals where it will play the winner of the Fayetteville Regional. Super Regional play is scheduled to be played June 11-14 in a best of three series.
“We just know if we play hard every single game, we're going to have a chance to win,” Butler said.