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May 23, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) - Down to its final two outs, the third-seeded North Carolina State Wolfpack (39-15) rallied for a pair of ninth-inning runs to defeat the sixth-seeded Miami Hurricanes (34-20), 3-2, in the second game of the 2012 ACC Baseball Championship.
The one-run game follows Georgia Tech's 5-4 win over Florida State earlier Wednesday.
"I'm proud of our guys," winning coach Elliott Avent said. "We just kept battling and battling and battling. We've done that all season. Playing hard is a trademark of our club."
Miami entered the bottom of the ninth with a 2-1 lead and Eric Nedeljkovic (0-2) -- their fourth pitcher-- on the mound. Nedeljkovic retired the lead-off hitter but Brett Austin singled. John Gianis pinch-hit for shortstop Matt Bergquist and singled to right, advancing Austin to third.
Nedeljkovic was replaced by closer E.J. Encinosa, who walked Trea Turner, to load the bases. Chris Diaz chopped a grounder to third and reached first base safely when first baseman Esteban Tresgallo couldn't come up with the low throw.
The tying run scored on the play.
Encinosa then walked Ryan Mathews on five pitches, forcing in the winning run.
Miami coach Jim Morris said he had no explanation for Encinosa's shaky outing.
Miami's Eric Erickson and NC State's Ethan Ogburn matched goose eggs for five innings, both pitching out of jams on numerous occasions. Erickson allowed nine hits in seven innings but picked off Trea Turner from second base in the third inning and did not allow a walk.
"That's what great pitchers do," Avent said. "They work out of jams."
The Hurricanes broke through in the top of the sixth. Dale Carey doubled to left with one out and Chantz Mack blasted a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall, putting Miami up 2-0.
NC State got one of them back in the bottom of the sixth. DH Danny Canela singled with one out and advanced to third on Andrew Ciencin's double to left field. Jake Fincher grounded out, advancing both runners and putting the Wolfpack on the board. Tarran Sennay ended the threat with a ground out.
Miami knocked out Ogburn in the seventh. After retiring the first two batters, Ogburn hit No. 8 hitter Tresgallo and gave up a single to No. 9 hitter Garrett Kennedy. Vance Williams (3-3) relieved Ogburn and walked Stephen Perez to load the bases. But Williams struck out Carey to end the inning and worked scoreless eighth and ninth innings to pick up the win.
Miami again threatened to add to the lead in the eighth. Mack walked to lead off the inning and was bunted to second by Brad Fieger. Rony Rodriguez singled to right field but Ryan Mathews gunned Mack down at the plate.
Mack said he got a late break on the hit.
Jim Morris went to his bullpen after seven innings. A trio of relievers worked around two eighth-inning singles to keep the score 2-1.
That was just a prelude to NC State's dramatic ninth-inning rally.
NC State plays Wake Forest Thursday at 7 P.M, while Miami plays North Carolina Thursday at 3 P.M.