Tony Kemp’s two-out single in the bottom of the ninth drove in Connor Castellano with the winning run as Vanderbilt rallied for a 9-8 victory over North Carolina State in the second round of the NCAA baseball regional Saturday at Raleigh, N.C.
The Commodores trailed 8-3 after seven and a half innings but pulled even with five runs in the bottom of the eighth. Anthony Gomez and Conrad Gregor scored the last two of that inning in a sequence that began with a wild pitch and included a throwing error.
Host and No. 1 seed North Carolina State (40-18) will face North Carolina-Wilmington (39-22), the No. 3 seed, in an elimination game at noon (CDT) Sunday. The second-seeded Commodores (35-26) will get the winner of that contest at 5 p.m. Sunday and can advance to the Super Regional with a victory.
Three VU relievers allowed a combined five runs in 2.1 innings as the Wolfpack scored in four straight innings, beginning in the fifth.
The final blow was Ryan Mathews’ two-run home run off Will Clinard in the top of the eighth. Clinard replaced Drew VerHagen with one on and one out in the eighth and struck out the first batter he faced. Mathews then took a 2-2 pitch out to left field.
Freshman Jared Miller replaced Clinard and allowed two hits but did not give up a run over the final inning and a third.
Starter Sam Selman held N.C. State scoreless on three hits through four innings. He allowed a game-tying run in the fifth and then three more in the sixth, the last on a balk with a runner on third.
Andrew Harris gave Vaanderbilt a 1-0 lead in the second when he drove in Jack Lupo with a bunt single.
The Commodores did not score again until Mike Yastrzemski drove in Kemp with a seventh-inning double.
Gregor and Gomez had two hits apiece for Vanderbilt, which had five hits through seven innings but added five more in the final two. Gregor also scored once and drove in two runs. Yastrzemski scored twice.
Mathews was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs for N.C. State.