No. 6 Pack Edged 2-0 by No. 19 UCLA
Posted March 1
Cary, N.C. — No. 6 NC State baseball went toe-to-toe with the defending national champions, but ultimately fell 2-0 to No. 19 UCLA on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
Carlos Rodon (1-2) took the loss on seven innings of work, holding the Bruins (6-4) to three hits and three walks with eight punchouts. UCLA loaded the bases with nobody out in the second, and scored two runs, one earned, on Trent Chatterton’s one-out single down the first base line. Following the second, Rodon only allowed one more hit to land in the outfield, a harmless single to center in the seventh.
The Wolfpack (8-2) struggled to muster any scoring punch against UCLA’s combination of Grant Watson and David Berg. Watson (2-1) struck out three while holding the Pack to three hits over eight innings. Berg shut the door with a one-hit ninth for his third save of the year.
Trea Turner and Jake Fincher were the only Wolfpack hitters to reach base twice. Turner went 1-for-3 with a walk. Fincher reached on an error and led off the ninth with an infield single in his 1-for-4 effort. State freshmen Kyle Cavanaugh and Andrew Knizner each provided a single.
Similar to State’s matchup with the Bruins in last year’s College World Series, the margin of victory was razor thin. UCLA found a way to scratch in the second and never looked back. Ty Moore started the rally with a single to short. A fielding error on the mound let Luke Persico reach next. A hit batter loaded the bases with nobody out.
Rodon rebounded by striking out the next batter looking, but Chatterton delivered his two-RBI single down the first base line and into right, scoring the only runs of the game. Rodon held the damage there, striking out the next batter during an attempted double steal. Turner hustled down the runner between first and second with a diving tag near first base to end the inning.
NC State returns to action on Sunday, March 2, hosting Youngstown State at Doak Field at Dail Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.