DURHAM, N.C. – No. 5 NC State tied the game in the eighth and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the 10th to escape with a 7-6 victory over the Duke baseball team Friday evening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Blue Devils held leads of 4-0 and 6-3 but were unable to hold off the Wolfpack in the end.
Trailing 6-5 in the top of the eighth, NC State (41-13, 18-10 ACC) got a leadoff single from Grant Clyde. Clyde then took second on a wild pitch, one of five total in the ball game, and advanced to third on a ground ball to the right side. Second baseman Logan Ratledge sent a two-out single through the right side, tying the game at 6-6.
Following a scoreless ninth, left fielder Bryan Adametz singled for the third time on the night. A Jake Armstrong sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second before Adametz made it to third on a Ratledge fly ball to right field. Adametz would ultimately score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, Duke’s third of the evening.
Sophomore Andy Perez, who was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, laced a base hit to start the bottom of the 10th and senior Jeff Kremer drew a walk to put two men aboard with one out. The Blue Devils were unable to capitalize, however, as a strikeout and a nice in foul territory by Wolfpack third baseman Clyde ended the ball game.
2012 ACC Pitcher of the Year Carlos Rodon (8-2) struck out 15 batters over nine innings in the winning effort. Rodon allowed six runs, four earned, but did not allow a Duke hit after yielding four runs in the third.
Sophomore Trent Swart pitched 7.1 innings in the no decision, permitting six runs, five earned, on eight hits. Duke’s sophomore left-hander struck out four and walked two on the night. Sophomore Andrew Istler (3-6) suffered the loss, allowing just the one run on three hits over 2.2 innings of work.
Duke (26-28, 9-20 ACC) loaded the bases with three straight singles in the bottom of the second inning, but Rodon worked out of the jam keep the game scoreless early.
NC State was not as fortunate in the third as Duke plated four for the early lead. Catcher Reed Anthes started things off with a single and the Blue Devils proceeded to load the bases on a Perez base hit and Mark Lumpa walk. Anthes scored on a wild pitch before Jordan Betts sent a two-run double down the left field line to put Duke ahead 3-0. Betts scored Duke’s final run of the frame on a second wild pitch, extending the Blue Devils’ lead to 4-0.
NC State’s answer was immediate as the Wolfpack sent three around in the top of the fourth. Right fielder Jake Fincher lead off with a base hit and scored on an Brett Austin double. Jake Armstrong added a two-run single as well to cut the Duke lead to 4-3.
The Blue Devils scored two runs without registering a hit in the fifth, staking a 6-3 advantage. After a passed ball on strike three and two walks loaded the bases, Betts knocked in his team-leading 48th RBI on a fielder’s choice. Redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini followed suit with a sacrifice fly to center, picking up his 38th RBI on the year.
An Armstrong RBI double and a Duke error in the sixth allowed NC State to cut the Blue Devils’ advantage to 6-5 before the Wolfpack tied the game in the eighth.
Duke and NC State close out the series Saturday. The two teams are set for a 12 p.m., first pitch at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.