Raleigh, NC – The Noles fought through a horrible defensive game to beat North Carolina State 3-2 in the opening game of the Easter weekend series. In a battle between two teams that have combined to win 13 of their last 14 games the Noles utilized strong pitching and a timely late inning rally to pull out the win. Despite the Seminoles committing five errors, Boomer Biegalski, Alec Byrd and Billy Strode came through on the mound allowing just one earned run in the victory.
“Boomer went out there and took the bull by the horns,” said Mike Martin. “He got it done.
“He is a great competitor and he has had absolutely no luck this year. Numbers are what it’s about with him. Not W’s and L’s. His numbers are very impressive.”
Biegalski pitched 6.1 innings and allowed two runs, of which only one was earned. The sophomore spread out 10 hits while striking out five and walking just one batter before the bullpen came in and shut the Wolfpack down the rest of the way. Byrd pitched two-thirds of an inning to pick up the win and move to 4-0 while Strode closed out the final two innings to pick up his ninth save of the season without allowing a base runner.
The turning point in the game came in a wild bottom of the sixth that started with a leadoff homer by NC State’s Jake Armstrong to tie that game at 1-1. Two errors and a bunt single followed allowing the Wolfpack to load the bases with nobody out. Biegalski got the next two batters to fly out on just three pitches before ending the threat just two pitches later on a liner to center.
“(Mike) Bell did a great job calling that ballgame tonight,” said Martin. “To get us out of that jam and make critical pitches at other times, it was maybe one that we so called backed into. It’s called baseball. You just don’t know.”
For the Seminoles, the biggest hit of the night was delivered by third baseman Darren Miller with the Noles trailing 2-1 in the eighth. The freshman from Key West, Fla. came through with the bases loaded and two outs as he sent a single into the gap in right plating the winning runs.
After committing five errors in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, the Seminoles didn’t allow a runner to reach base in the final two innings and took the lead for good.
“The (defense) has been a concern but there is only so much you can do,” said Martin. “If we were making fundamental mistakes…I mean the ball that got by our centerfielder, I am still trying to figure out how that ball got by him. There were some things we did tonight that we just can’t do. Some things…not throwing the ball in on the fly ball…just like ‘he’s not going to run’…throw the ball in. But it was a great win. It truly was a great win.”
With the win, FSU improved to 6-0 on the season in one-run games and despite committing five errors for the third time this season, FSU is 2-1 in those games.
“This ball club is going to fight you for 27 outs. It makes all of our coaches very proud to be a part of it.”