RALEIGH, N.C. - Tarran Senay’s two-out single to right center in the bottom of the 11th inning scored Brett Austin and lifted No. 9 N.C. State (17-6) to 4-3 win over instate rival and No. 30 East Carolina (16-8) Wednesday night at Doak Field at Dail Park.
With the game knotted at three, Austin drew a leadoff walk then took second on Chris Diaz’ sac bunt back to Andy Smithmyer in front of the pitchers mound. After an intentional walk to Danny Canela put runners on first and second, Andrew Ciencin laced a long fly ball to right field moving the runners up to second and third setting up Senay’s game-winning hit – the third base knock of the contest.
Ryan Wilkins (2-1) picked up the win in relief tossing a perfect 1.1 frames with a pair of strikeouts. Starter Dan Healey was touched for all three Pirate runs on five hits in three innings. Right-hander Vance Williams was brilliant in relief allowing one hit over five innings with two strikeouts. From the fourth inning until Jay Cannon’s single to start the eighth, he retired 11 Pirates in a row and retired 14 of 15 in total. Chris Overman allowed four walks in 1.2 innings of relief before passing the ball to Wilkins.
Smithmyer (2-1) suffered his first loss of the 2012 season after working 3.2 innings in relief surrendering the game winning run, which he was responsible for before being lifted for Drew Reynolds in the 11th with one out. Starter Jeff Hoffman tossed a career-best 6.2 innings in his second collegiate start allowing three runs (all earned) on six this with a pair of punch outs. Reynolds allowed one hit, the game-winner, in one-third of an inning.
In the 10th inning, the Pirates had a prime opportunity to push across the go ahead run in the ball game with the bases loaded, two outs and Corey Thompson at the plate. But what looked to be a dropped third strike by Austin at the plate, Zach Wright broke for home and was tagged out just short of home for the third out.
N.C. State took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a pair of base hits and a sac bunt. Ciencin singled to short with one out and then scored on Seney’s double off the wall in right center, where Seney landed on third on the relay throw home. Bryan Adametz drove in Seney on a sac bunt to the right of the pitcher’s mound.
The Wolfpack added a run in the third extending their lead to 3-0 on Diaz’ double down the left field line. With two outs, Austin singled to left field and came around to score on a ball hit in the corner down the line.
ECU knotted the game at three in the top of the fourth by way of four consecutive hits. Tim Younger and Thompson singled and John Wooten, who extended his current hitting streak to 11 games in the second frame, followed with an RBI double down the left field line plating Younger. Reynolds continued the frame with a single through the right side pushing across Thompson and moving Wooten over to third. Chase McDonald capped the scoring with a sac fly to right field scoring Wooten and tying the game at three.
The Pirates had a chance to break the three-all tie in the top of the eighth leaving Cannon stranded at third. Cannon started the frame with a single up the middle then took second on Philip Clark’s sac bunt and landed on third after Jack Reinheimer’s ground out to short before Younger popped out to first in foul territory ending the stanza.
Wooten led the Pirates offensively going 2-for-5 at the plate with an RBI. Reynolds was 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and now has recorded at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games.
The Pirates will be back in action this weekend when they play host to UAB in Conference USA action at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.