Center fielder Marcus Jones hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to lead No. 24 NC State past No. 4 North Carolina, 11-1, in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Doak Field. First baseman Pat Ferguson and second baseman Dallas Poulk each added four hits as the Wolfpack (29-14, 12-10 ACC) handed the Tar Heels (35-10, 14-8 ACC) their worst loss in over a year.
After allowing just two earned runs on eight hits in 17 2/3 innings
against NC State over the last three seasons, Carolina right-hander
Robert Woodard (7-2) allowed career-highs of eight runs and 12 hits over just 4 1/3 innings Friday. He walked two and struck out four before
being lifted in favor of Tyler Trice with a runner on third and one out
in the fifth. Now 30-5 in his career, Woodard has lost back-to-back
starts for the first time as a Tar Heel.
Left-hander Eric Surkamp (4-2) went seven innings for State, allowing
just one run on eight hits and two walks, while striking out three. In
addition to their four-hit efforts, Ferguson and Poulk each scored three
runs, as did right fielder Ryan Pond, who was 3-for-4 on the night.
Dating back to Wednesday’s win over High Point, in which the Tar Heels
did not score after the fourth, Carolina was shutout for 10 consecutive
innings, before getting on the board on an RBI single by center fielder
Seth Williams in the seventh. Williams, who was 2-for-4, and second
baseman Kyle Seager led the Tar Heels with two hits, including a double, on the night.
The 10-run defeat was the worst for Carolina since an 11-1 loss at
Georgia Tech March March 25, 2006, and the 16 hits allowed were the most by the Tar Heels since Winthrop also had 16 hits last May 10.
Jones put the Pack on the board in the second with the first grand slam
allowed by the Tar Heels all season and just the second surrendered by
Woodard in his career. NC State loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Ferguson and Pond, and Poulk reached safely when Woodard bobbled a sacrifice bunt attempt. Jones then sent a 1-0 pitch out to straightaway center for his third home run of the season and a 4-0 lead.
The Tar Heels loaded the bases in the top of the third but were kept off
the scoreboard when Poulk snagged a liner off the bat of catcher Tim
Federowicz to end the inning and strand three runners.
NC State came right back with two more runs in the bottom of the inning
on a seeing-eye double up the middle by Poulk, which drove in Ferguson
and Pond, who both singled and scored for the second straight inning.
The Wolfpack added runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Ferguson and
in the fifth on a run-scoring double by Jones for his fifth RBI of the
Down by eight runs, Carolina finally broke through against Surkamp in
the seventh on a run-scoring single by Williams. Seager doubled to right
center and crossed the plate on a bloop single to right for Williams’
27th RBI of the year.
State closed out the scoring with three runs against Trice in the
seventh on Poulk’s third RBI of the night, a sacrifice fly by Drew
Martin and a single from Vince Gutierrez.
The series continues at 7 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. A webcast of both games is available at ACCSelect.com.