RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State freshman Carlos Rodon helped the Wolfpack through a rough patch early, before fellow freshman Trea Turner blew the game wide open with a bases-clearing double in the eighth to propel State to a 10-3 season-opening win over Marshall, Friday night at Doak Field at Dail Park.
“I looked up at one point and saw three freshmen batting one, two, three, and a freshman on the mound,” said NC State head coach Elliott Avent. “That’s when the game turned in our favor, and for those guys to be involved in that, it makes me feel good as a coach.”
Rodon (1-0) threw four innings of relief to record the win, striking out seven of 15 batters faced while surrendering only one hit. The freshman gave up one unearned run and walked two after Ethan Ogburn threw the game’s first four innings, surrendering two unearned runs on three hits and striking out five. Vance Williams pitched the final inning, striking out the last batter of the game.
Turner’s bases loaded double in the eighth put a stamp on his 2-for-3 outing with three runs batted in, leading off the Pack lineup in his debut game. The freshman added a single and a walk as well.
Danny Canela represented the only other Wolfpacker to record multiple hits, a pair of singles to go 2-for-5 with one RBI. Shortstop Chris Diaz had a pair of RBIs on his 1-for-3 day. Freshman Jake Fincher accounted for one RBI.
“We had some mistakes in the early part of the game,” said Avent. “I think some of that excitement played a part in a couple of our errors. Eventually, we were able to string some positive things together and that’s what helped us win today.”
Those errors played a part in the third inning, as Marshall (0-1) took an early 2-0 lead. The Thundering Herd’s Sergio Leon reached first on a throwing error with two outs. Isaac Ballou singled in the next at-bat, reaching second on a throw to home that sailed high. Gary Stafford singled to score Ballou next, and advanced to second on another errant throw home.
NC State (1-0) settled down from there, scoring four runs in the fifth. Matt Bergquist ignited the inning with an infield single and a steal. Diaz knocked him in on a single to center. With two outs, Turner and Diaz had advanced to second and third when Brett Williams hustled to first on a throw that pulled first baseman Nathan Gomez off the bag for an inning-extending error. That play allowed Diaz to score, and later, Williams’s pinch runner Fincher.
During the same stretch, Rodon was working magic in his first career appearance. The 6-3, 234-pound lefthander struck out the first three batters he faced before adding three more in his next two innings. Marshall could only muster an unearned run on a passed ball to make it 4-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Wolfpack sealed the game with six runs. Andrew Ciencin and a pinch-hitting Tarran Senay were each hit by pitches to start the inning. Bergquist laid down a sac bunt that got him aboard and scored Ciencin as Marshall committed an error on a throw to third. John Gianis walked to load the bases to set up Turner’s three-RBI double down the right field line. Turner later scored as Fincher made it to first on a fielder’s choice to make the final 10-3.
NC State returns to the diamond Saturday for a doubleheader, opening with Youngstown St. at 11 a.m. and wrapping up with Wright St. at 3 p.m. Live stats will be available at GoPack.com, and radio coverage will be provided by 88.1 WKNC.
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