Seahawks Unable to Solve Wolfpack Rookie Righthander
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
RALEIGH, N.C. – Freshman Cory Mazzoni made the most of his first career start as he limited UNC Wilmington to one run on three hits in six innings as North Carolina State raced past UNC Wilmington 10-2, in college baseball action Tuesday at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The Wolpack improved to 17-15 on the season while the Seahawks fell for the eighth straight time to move to 17-11. The win was also NCSU Head Coach Elliott Aventt’s 700th career win.
Mazzoni mowed through the Seahawks, limiting them to just one hit in the first five innings. The righthander, who picked up his first collegiate win, walked one and struck out five.
Offensively, Pat Ferguson drove in three runs on four hits, including his fourth home run of the season. Joining Ferguson with multiple hit games were Devon Cartwright and Kyle Wilson, who also swiped three bases, with two hits apiece. Cartwright and Drew Poulk both added home runs.
Sophomore Cody Stanley led UNCW with a pair of hits and drove in a run.
After retiring the Seahawks in order in the top of the first, NCSU jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame on Poulk’s second home run of the season, a solo shot with two outs, for a 1-0 lead.
Cartwright belted a fastball over the leftfield wall to extend NCSU’s lead to 2-0 in the third. UNCW sophomore starter and losing pitcher Justin Bradley (2-3) continued to fall behind in the count and the Wolfpack made him pay for it as a single to left by Wilson with two out put runners at first and third. Wilson stole second to move into scoring position and Dallas Poulk drew a walk to load the bases. Bradley, though, escaped any more damage with a strikeout of Andrew Ciencin to end the inning.
The Wolfpack plated five runs on three hits in the fourth to break to the game open and take a 7-0 lead.
Bradley, who didn’t make out of the fourth inning, allowed a pair of hits and walked the bases loaded for the second straight inning. In three-plus innings, Bradley was roughed up for five runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out three.
Red-shirt freshman Tyler Smith inherited Bradley’s bases-loaded situation and walked the first batter he faced on four straight pitches to force in a run. Smith then walked in the second run of the inning with a base on balls to Drew Poulk. Smith was then tagged for a RBI single by Ferguson to extend NCSU’s lead to 5-0 with none out and the bases remained loaded. Junior Bryan Booth, UNCW’s third pitcher of the inning, forced in the fourth run of the inning when he drilled Wilson with his first pitch. The fifth run came across on a ground ball double play one batter later.
UNCW finally broke through against Mazzoni in the sixth on a sacrifice fly to right by red-shirt junior Grayson Evans with the bases loaded.
Ferguson homered off a 3-1 fastball from freshman reliever Jack Lane to lead off the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-1.
The lead grew to 9-1 in the bottom of the seventh against freshman reliever Ryan Walker, who surrendered one run on just one hit, but did walked two.
The Wolfpack’s final run came on a UNCW throwing error in the eighth for a 10-2 lead.
The Seahawks return to Brooks Field on April 8, when they host nationally-ranked East Carolina at 7 p.m.