N.C. State baseball coach Elliott Avent suspended

ctudor@newsobserver.comMay 16, 2012 

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N.C. State freshman Jake Fincher (30) confers with head coach Elliott Avent during the Wolfpack's game against California State University Bakersfield on Friday May 4, 2012 at Doak Field in Raleigh, N.C.

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com

— A prominent baseball regular-season finale series lost some of its edge Tuesday when it was announced N.C. State coach Elliott Avent was suspended and will miss the Wolfpack’s games at Florida State on Thursday and Friday.

The veteran coach was suspended for three games, starting with Tuesday’s home finale against UNC Greensboro, following an incident in the Wolfpack’s 6-4 loss Sunday at Virginia Tech.

Avent’ first game back will be Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Seminoles. FSU (41-11, 22-5) is ranked No. 1 nationally by Baseball America and State is ranked No. 13.

Sunday in Blacksburg, Va., Avent was ejected by home plate umpire David Pritchett after disputing a call in the sixth inning. Following the ejection, there was physical contact between Avent and the ump, a violation of NCAA rules that carries an NCAA-mandated three-game suspension that cannot be appealed, N.C. State said in a press release.

The loss ended a 12-game win streak for the Pack, which took a 36-18 record (18-9 ACC) into Tuesday’s 6 p.m. non-conference game against UNC-G (24-24, 9-18 Southern Conference) at Doak Field.

“I accept the suspension,” said Avent in a news release by the school. “Our team has displayed character and consistency throughout this season and I am confident that this will not be a distraction from our goal of winning a championship. I look forward to being back in the dugout Saturday at Florida State.”

Avent, 56, is the winningest coach in Pack history – 592-352 at the school and 817-565 overall.

He got the N.C. State job in 1997 and was voted national coach of the year in 2003, when his team finished 45-18.

Tudor: 919-829-8946

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