Wolfpack edges Pirates

Staff WriterApril 6, 2011 

— The N.C. State and East Carolina baseball teams have had some battles over the years.

It was another gripping chapter in the rivalry at Doak Field on Tuesday, with the Wolfpack winning 4-2 in the only regular-season contest between the schools this year.

In the seventh inning, N.C. State scored three runs to take its first lead of the game after East Carolina gifted a pair of outs.

The bases were loaded for Wolfpack junior Pratt Maynard after a leadoff bunt, an error by reliever Shawn Armstrong on the next batter and a single on a bunt that Armstrong dove for but wasn't able to make the catch.

"We've got to get that out," East Carolina coach Billy Godwin said. "We've got to collect that out. We had an opportunity to collect the out twice and we didn't and then that inning is a different inning."

Maynard singled to drive in two runs with no outs, and junior third baseman Andrew Ciencin drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to center field.

"I stepped into the box and the crowd was loud," Maynard said. "They were chanting. It was great to go up there and get a hit for the team. ... I just tried to get a pitch I could hit and drive it."

East Carolina led for most of the game.

"It's a funny game," N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said. "Just an unbelievable game for six innings.

"But you think about a crazy seventh inning, their two runs come on a slash, a slash home run. You don't see those very often."

The Pirates (20-8) scored first in the third inning on third baseman Corey Thompson's two-run homer over the center-field wall.

"It was a fastball up," Thompson said, with a chuckle. "It was supposed to be on the ground.

"But, hey, you've got to do what you've got to do sometimes, and it just happened that I put a good swing on it. It got some backspin and went out of the ballpark."

Both teams had chances with men on, and each team stranded eight runners.

The Pirates' only bases-loaded situation was in the second inning, and N.C. State starter Danny Heatley got out of the inning on a fly ball to center field.

The Wolfpack (18-12) scored a run on a solo home run from second baseman Matt Bergquist in the third inning.

East Carolina starting pitcher Zach Woods, a senior righty, went 51/3 innings, allowing a run on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.

N.C. State reliever Chris Overman, who entered the game in the seventh inning, earned the win logging the last seven outs, with Armstrong taking the loss.

After giving up a leadoff single in the top of the ninth inning, Overman (5-0) struck out the next three batters to end the game. He has retired 51 of the last 60 batters he has faced over the past seven games.

It gave the Wolfpack its seventh victory in the last nine contests against the Pirates.

"I just had to make my pitches after that [hit], locate my fastball and I did that," Overman said. "It feels good. It feels really good, especially going up against a team like ECU, who've been our rivals forever. ... It makes you sleep good at night."

javier.serna@newsobserver.com or 919-836-4953

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