With N.C. State trailing by one in the top of the ninth, former Ashley High School standout Chance Shepard launched a two-run homerun over the wall in centerfield to lift the Wolfpack past Texas Christian 5-4 on Saturday night.
Shepard went 1-for-4 as the designated hitter with a pair of runs batted in, while Joe O’Donnell (Hoggard) saw action out of the N.C. State bullpen. The long ball was Shepard’s seventh of the season, while his younger brother Shane Shepard went 1-for-1 in a pinch hit at-bat for the freshman in the top of the eighth.
The Wolfpack advance to the regional finals in Fort Worth, Texas and play the winner of TCU/Stony Brook on Sunday at 8 p.m. N.C. State can advance to the NCAA Super Regionals with a win, while TCU or Stony Brook need to beat the Wolfpack twice in order to move on.
Coastal Plain League
Wilmington Sharks 6 Petersburg Generals 1
Cody Tyler allowed two hits and struck out 11 over 5.1 innings of work to help guide the Sharks to back-to-back wins as Wilmington defeated Petersburg 6-1 at Buck Hardee Field on Saturday night.
“I just took the mound knowing I had to keep a positive mindset,” said Tyler. “Coach Parker and I decided early that my off-speed pitch wasn’t quite working tonight, so we kept hammering the strike zone with fastballs – working in some off-speed here and there, but ultimately, it was my fastball that was working for me.”
Offensively, the Sharks picked up where they left off from Friday’s victory in Morehead City. Nick Rotola went 2-for-4 at the plate for the Sharks with three stolen bases and two runs scored. Joe Bialkowski added two hits and a couple of runs batted in.
Rotola singled on the first pitch of the game and scored on an RBI single by Alex Destino (S. Carolina), who now has hits in three consecutive outings.
Bialkowski (Georgetown) added a run scoring hit in the frame as the Sharks plated four runs on four hits in the first.
Wilmington also picked up insurance runs in the fifth and seventh.
The Sharks host the Morehead City Marlins for the first Belly Buster Monday of the year during which fans can enjoy all you can eat concessions for $10 on top of their ticket. First-pitch is set for 7 p.m.
American Legion Baseball
Wilmington Post 10 7 Morehead City 2
Wilmington Post 10 2 Morehead City 1