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NC State tops Rice 5-4 in 17 innings, advances to College World Series

Posted June 9, 2013
Updated June 10, 2013

— North Carolina State did not get their first lead of the game until the 17th inning, but it stood as the Wolfpack defeated Rice 5-4 and advanced to the College World series.

Wolfpack clean-up hitter Tarran Senay led off the 17th inning with a single – the first for NC State since the 10th inning – and came around to score two batters later on a Brett Williams double to right center putting NC State up 5-4. Rice put their leadoff man on in the bottom half, but Wolfpack pitcher Ethan Ogburn stranded him at third to earn the win.

"It doesn't matter how we win as long as we get the win," Senay said. "This team is special but we're not done yet." NCAA NC State Rice Baseball Slideshow: NC State advances to CWS with 17-inning win

With the win, NC State earned their first College World Series berth since 1968. Many of the members on that team were in attendance Sunday to witness the longest game in super regional history that ended in a Wolfpack dog-pile at the mound.

"It's a heartbreaking loss, of course, but I'm sure NC State will do very well in the College World Series," said Rice head coach Wayne Graham.

Playing as the visitors, NC State went to the ninth inning trailing 4-1 before posting a game-tying rally that began with a hit batter. Two batters later, the Wolfpack had two on base with one out for Jake Fincher who promptly delivered a two-run double on a full count to bring the game to 4-3. Senay followed with an RBI double into the right field corner to tie the game at 4.

The game was delayed 77 minutes in the bottom of the 12th as rain moved through the area. A total 7 hours, 32 minutes elapsed from first pitch to last.

Three of the Owls five runs came on solo home runs. Christian Stringer gave Rice a 1-0 lead in the first, then a 2-0 lead in the sixth. Rice designated hitter, Michael Aquino belted the third one on the day as he hit a line drive over the wall in left to lead off the seventh.

For Stringer, who entered the weekend with just one home run in 294 plate appearances on the year, he hit three in two games in Raleigh. He went 2-for-4 Sunday with three of walks in addition to the home runs.

"I'm just trying to hit line drives and hit something to right field," Stringer said. "I'm not a power hitter so it surprised me, too.

NC State (49-14) starter Logan Jernigan went five innings allowing just two hits. Reliever DJ Thomas allowed one hit – a home run – in two-thirds of an inning. Andrew Woeck, who entered the game with a 10-inning scoreless streak, gave up the long ball to Aquino. In all, the Wolfpack used nine pitchers.

NC State scored one run in the seventh inning after loading the bases with nobody out. An RBI ground out by Saturday’s hero Fincher scored Jake Armstrong. Rice got out of the inning a batter later when Logan Ratledge was thrown out at home trying to tag up on a shallow Brett Austin fly out.

Rice (44-20) got a run in the eighth on a squeeze bunt by Leon Byrd that scored Keenan Cook. The run was also charged to Woeck.

Owls’ starter Jordan Stephens (8-4) did not factor in the decision despite 6.1 innings of work. He struck out five while walking two and was charged with one run. Zech Lemond threw three innings giving up the big NC State rally in the ninth. John Simms got credit for the loss throwing 7.2 innings of relief.

NC State will play the winner of Monday's North Carolina-South Carolina game in Game 1 at the College World Series.

"That's the goal, you want to go to Omaha," said NC State centerfielder Brett Williams. "You want to achieve all you can achieve."

94 Comments

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  • The Greatest Ever Jun 10, 7:23 p.m.

    Boo State! Go Heels!

  • Ken D. Jun 10, 6:22 p.m.

    I'm not sure how the first round pairings in the CWS are determined. But I would think it... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    The seedings for Omaha were established when the field of 64 was selected and the 8 national... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    So, if South Carolina and Kansas State advance, the Omaha seedings would be as follows (original... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    No, you cannot assign seedings except 1-8. Virginia Tech was closer to being the 16th seed. ... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    I won't argue that the NCAA may claim they are following rules, but they are pretty arbitrary. At the time the regionals were set, VT was ranked #11 by the NCAA. Oklahoma was assigned to their regional. And State being placed in a SR in Oregon is hardly based on geography.

    As in basketball, you could say the NCAA's selection process is often inscrutable.

  • kkevin7048 Jun 10, 6:07 p.m.

    Who really cares? State plays Saturday !

  • The Dire_Wolf Jun 10, 6:01 p.m.

    I'm actually UNC pulls it out tomorrow. I'd love to see another rematch between State and UNC. Not often I will pull for UNC.

  • Dreamchaser Jun 10, 4:25 p.m.

    The Carolina game will be tomorrow at 12:00.

  • Sports Talk Only Jun 10, 3:48 p.m.

    I enjoyed every minute of the Pack's games. Congratulatons, on the win, don't let it in now. I... View More

    — Posted by lec02572

    I'm not sure how the first round pairings in the CWS are determined. But I would think it... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    Not sure either, sir. I DO know that State will play either Carolina or Carolina this Friday, in the first round. :)

  • stevee2 Jun 10, 2:38 p.m.

    We are witnessing one of the best set of pitchers on a college team. Way to go Pack!!!

  • kkevin7048 Jun 10, 2:14 p.m.

    After staying up last night to see the last pitch of the game and to see my PACK head to the CWS,I am tired today.I did not even have the energy to jump up and down last night.I'm pondering back and fourth,Should I pull for UNC or not.I came to the conclusion...I hope UNC wins tonight for another rematch and to finally shut there traps up.This would be much sweeter then to play South Carolina.GO WOLFPACK !!

  • Got Peart Jun 10, 1:57 p.m.

    Can't believe I'm saying this, but this diehard Pack, and ABC fan, actually hopes the heels pull it out tonight. I want to see a rematch of one of the best baseball games I have ever seen!

    State may not win the CWS, but they will not be embarrassed. You see it every year in the playoffs. Good pitching holds the edge over good hitting. State's pitching staff is STRONG! They have speed, and are very good defensivily. They won't wow you with towering HR, but they will play smart, sound, fundamental baseball. They've won 33 of their last 38 games - so it must work!

    And people - obamacare is jut trolling - just ignore him

  • Obamacare for life Jun 10, 1:56 p.m.

    WPIDH4S, perhaps it was Dairy Queen where I spotted him. :P

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