N.C. State wins twice to set up rematch with Vanderbilt

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJune 3, 2012 

— The Wolfpack got a win back from the Commodores on Sunday.

The Wolfpack bounced back from a crushing loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday night with a 6-5 win on Sunday at Doak Field. The same teams will meet for a third time tonight at 7 p.m. with the winner moving on to face Florida, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, in the Super Regional.

“The consistency and character of this team is outstanding,” N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said. “And somewhere along the line, they got real tough.”

N.C. State (42-18) kept its season alive with some clutch hitting by second baseman Matt Bergquist, who knocked in the winning run in the eighth inning. Bergquist, a junior, began the day with a .197 batting average. His single to right scored Brett Austin to break a tie at 5 with the Commodores.

In N.C. State’s 17-5 win over UNC Wilmington earlier on Sunday, Bergquist went 3-for-5 with a home run, his first of the season, and six RBI. His batting average after two games on Sunday rose 25 points, to .222.

“I just had a really good day,” Bergquist said.

Bergquist hit .289 as a sophomore and led the Wolfpack with 46 RBI in 2011, so Avent knows Bergquist is a capable hitter.

“I’m more surprised at the first part of his season than I am with tonight,” Avent said.

The Wolfpack scored six runs in three ACC tournament games but exploded for 47 runs in four NCAA tournament contests.

The Wolfpack’s offense had no trouble finding runs early against the Commodores. N.C. State took a 5-3 lead into the seventh inning with single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings. Trea Turner added a two-run home run in the third.

Pack designated hitter Ryan Mathews hit his ninth homer in 14 games to give N.C. State a 1-0 advantage in the first. Turner’s homer kept carrying and carrying until leftfielder Jack Lupo ran out of room. Bergquist, who led off the inning with a walk, scored on Turner’s fifth homer of the season to give N.C. State a 3-0 lead.

“I knew it had a chance but I didn’t think it was going to go out,” Turner said. “I was happy it did.”

Vandy got on the board with an RBI double by first baseman Conrad Gregor in the top of the fourth.

Starter Anthony Tzamtzis did not get out of the third inning in his previous two starts, ACC losses to Florida State and Wake Forest, but worked the first five innings without too much trouble.

But the Commodores rallied for two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings against Tzamtzis. Mike Yastrzemski tripled to drive in a run and scored in the sixth to cut N.C. State’s lead to 5-3.

The Commodores evened the game in the seventh, and chased Tzamtzis, with a pair of manufactured runs. Connor Castellano, who scored the game-winning run on Saturday, singled and scored after a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch.

Tony Kemp walked, stole second, advanced on a fielder’s choice and scored on an RBI double by Anthony Gomez, to even the game at 5.

Vandy ran out of comeback magic against Ryan Wilkins, who worked the final two innings, giving up only one hit, to give the Wolfpack the win.

In two games, the two teams have each scored 14 runs and have split the wins. They’ll decide the regional tonight.

“We’ll be back,” Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. “We’ll give everyone in Raleigh their money’s worth.”

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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