RALEIGH — N.C. State may still win the NCAA Raleigh Regional, but it won't be easy for the Wolfpack.
For the second straight night, the Pack’s game at Doak Field was interrupted by threatening weather. The game against Coastal Carolina did not start until 9:25 p.m. Saturday because of lightning in the area, then was delayed at 12:31 a.m., again because of the threat of lightning and severe weather.
Coastal Carolina, the second seed in the regional, will hold a 3-0 lead over the Pack when the game is resumed Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The Chanticleers were batting in the top of the ninth, with a runner on and one out, when the game was called and the fans at Doak Field evacuated.
If the Wolfpack, the top seed, is not able to rally and win, it would face an elimination game against Navy. That game will begin 55 minutes after the State-Coastal Carolina game is completed.
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Games 6 of the regional, originally scheduled for Sunday night at 7 p.m., has been moved to Monday.
The second-seeded Chanticleers scored a run in the first inning on G.K. Young’s RBI-single, then two in the eighth on Zach Remillard’s double and a bloop single by Kevin Woodall Jr.
Junior right-hander Alex Cunningham gave the Chants a quality start and senior closer Mike Morrison was overpowering as the two combined to limit N.C. State to four hits through eight innings a day after the Pack had 18 hits in a 13-8 win over Navy.
The Wolfpack played long ball in the six-hour-plus marathon game against Navy, slamming four homers in the fifth inning and five homers in all. But the Pack’s second game was more of a grind as both teams struggled with runners in scoring position.
Once the game began, the Chanticleers quickly loaded the bases against N.C. State starter Cory Wilder as Anthony Marks and Michael Paez walked and Connor Owings reached on a bunt single.
Wilder and the Pack minimized the damage. After a strikeout, Young singled in a run, but the Pack turned a double play to end the inning.
The Chants then held on to the 1-0 lead as Cunningham stymied the Pack, making the key pitches in key spots and effectively mixing his fastball and changeup.
In the fifth, Cunnginham worked his way into a jam. After the Pack’s Josh McLain reached on a bunt single, Cunningham walked Stephen Pitarra.
Cunnignham then worked his way out of it, retiring Evan Mendoza on a popup for the second out and then fanning Preston Palmeiro after a wild pitch moved up the runners. Cunningham got Palmeiro — who tripled to center in his first at-bat — on a 74 mph changeup, thumping his chest as he walked off the mound.
Cunningham also retired Palmeiro with two out and two on in the third on a grounder to second.
In the Wolfpack sixth, Joe Dunand had a leadoff double and reached third on Brock Deatherage’s sacrifice bunt. That ended the night for Cunningham, but Morrison came in to retire Andrew Knizner and Brett Kinneman on short flyballs.
Wilder was pulled for Cody Beckman in the fifth and Tommy DeJuneas got the Pack out of a jam in the seventh. But the Chants added the two runs in the eighth for the 3-0 lead.