March 17, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. – Ramon Carona had three hits and four NC State pitchers combined on a four-hitter as the 19th-ranked Wolfpack (20-4, 4-0 ACC) defeated No. 1 Georgia Tech (17-2, 2-2), 8-1, in the opener of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series on Friday afternoon at Doak Field.
Georgia Tech lost in Raleigh for the first time since 1998, snapping a streak of eight straight wins on NC State’s home field.
The Yellow Jackets committed a season-high four errors, leading to three unearned runs in the game.
NC State reliever Chris Engle (1-0) earned the win, working 2.2 shutout innings and allowing just one hit. The NC State bullpen worked 4.2 innings and did not allow a run.
Tech starter Blake Wood (5-1) lost for the first time in 13 starts dating back to 2005. Wood lasted 3.2 innings and allowed five runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits.
Corona went 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Aaron Bates, Brian Aragon and Caleb Mangum added two hits each.
Georgia Tech committed three errors that led to three unearned runs in the first two innings as the Wolfpack jumped to a 3-0 lead. In the first inning, Carona reached on a throwing error by Tech first baseman Whit Robbins, Bates walked, Aragon followed with a RBI double and Ryan Pond added a RBI groundout. In the second inning, Jonathan Diaz singled, moved to second base on a fielding error by Tech right fielder Jeff Kindel and scored on a two-out RBI single from Carona.
NC State extended the lead to 5-0 with two runs in the fourth inning. The Wolfpack had four hits in the inning, three of which did not leave the infield, including RBI singles from Bates and Aragon.
The Yellow Jackets got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning, cutting the lead to 5-1. A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out and chased NC State starter Eryk McConnell from the game. Jeff Kindel had a RBI groundout, but Tech lost a chance to pull closer when Engle struck out Matt Wieters to end the inning.
NC State answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to make the score 8-1. Caleb Mangum hit a solo home run, his second of the year, Corona added a RBI single, and Jon Still drove in a run with a bases loaded walk.
McConnell did not figure in the decision, working 4.1 innings and allowing one run on three hits and four walks while striking out six.
Georgia Tech and NC State will continue the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.