May 26, 2007
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Caleb Mangum’s two-out 90-foot single in the top of the ninth inning helped NC State (37-21) to an 8-7 victory over Georgia Tech (32-25) Saturday morning in the Jackets’ final game at the 2007 ACC Baseball Tournament.
Mangum dribbled his second hit of the day to third baseman Patrick Long, while Marcus Jones, who reached on a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a sacrifice fly, scored on the play.
Jones led all hitters with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate. He scored two runs and drove in two others on a day when there were four lead changes.
Eryk McConnell (3-2) picked up his third win of the season by holding the Yellow Jackets scoreless over the final 3.1 innings. He held the Jackets to just three hits while walking one and striking out another. Tech’s Matt Wieters (1-4) was saddled with the loss.
Long led Tech with three hits on the afternoon, while Tony Plagman drove in three runs with a 1-for-3 performance at the plate, which included his second home run of the season. Chris House collected two hits on the day, and Jason Haniger went 2-for-3 with his first career home run against the Wolfpack.
NC State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Marcus Jones plated Dallas Poulk with an RBI single to right field, but Yellow Jacket first baseman Tony Plagman smacked a two-run home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the second to give Tech a 2-1 edge.
Ramon Corona, Ryan Pond, Jones and Mangum all had run-scoring hits in the top of the third to help the Wolfpack regain the lead, 5-2. NC State posted four-straight hits to begin the inning, including a double and a triple, to chase Yellow Jacket starter Ryan Turner from the game.
Despite giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out three in two-plus innings of work, Turner did not figure into the decision after the Yellow Jackets tied the game with an RBI single by Wieters in the third inning and a two-run home run by Haniger in the bottom of the fourth.
NC State broke the tie game with a run in the fifth inning after Pond was issued a leadoff walk by Chris Hicks, moved to second on a single by Mike Roskopf, and scored on Pat Ferguson’s two-out single to put the Wolfpack ahead, 6-5.
Hicks held NC State to one run on three hits while striking out three and walking two in 3.1 innings of work, but didn’t figure into the decision after the Jackets took their first lead since the second inning with a pair of bases-loaded RBI groundouts by Plagman and Jason Garofalo in the bottom of the sixth.
The Wolfpack loaded the bases in top of the seventh with a double and a pair of walks, one off reliever Jared Hyatt and the other off Danny Payne. Brad Rulon then entered the game and struck out Mangum for the second out of the inning, but Jeremy Synan worked a contested bases-loaded walk to tie the contest before Rulon struck out Drew Martin to end the threat.
The Jackets now await word as to if they are one of the 64 teams to earn berths in this year’s NCAA Baseball Championships. ESPN will air the selection show Monday at 12:30 p.m., while the 16 regional sites will be announced Sunday at 3:15 p.m.