App State brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning, but N.C. State’s first baseball visit to Boone resulted in a 7-3 victory for the Wolfpack in front of a reduced-capacity, sellout crowd on Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.
Playing either a nationally ranked team or an ACC team for the sixth straight Tuesday, the Mountaineers (15-21) cut into an early lead for the Wolfpack (20-13) thanks to Bailey Welch’s third-inning homer and loaded the bases after Dalton Williams’ eighth-inning single to score Luke Drumheller trimmed the margin to four.
Contributing at catcher, Trent Lewis singled with two away before Peyton Idol drew a 3-2 walk, but a popout in foul territory ended the threat against a surging Wolfpack team that is 11-2 in its last 13 games, including a weekend sweep of No. 15 Virginia Tech.
Drumheller doubled, had an RBI single and went 2-for-4 from the cleanup spot, while leadoff hitter Alex Leshock’s 2-for-4 outing also included a walk. Robbie Young and Kendall McGowan also had hits as the Mountaineers totaled nine as a team.
On the mound, starter Trey Tujetsch allowed four earned runs and struck out four batters in 5.2 innings. Eli Ellington struck out two batters and allowed one run in 1.1 innings before Shane Roberts and Andrew Papp each pitched a scoreless inning. Papp struck out the last two batters in a 1-2-3 ninth.
A two-run homer from Jonny Butler in the first and an RBI groundout in the second gave the Wolfpack an early lead, but App State responded in the third with Welch’s one-out homer to left and then three straight two-out hits from Young (double), McGowan and Drumheller.
NC State reclaimed control with a two-run fifth, scoring on a one-out RBI single and getting an unearned run on a sac fly. It scored another unearned run in the sixth with a faux steal attempt of second in a first-and-third situation and added a solo homer leading off the seventh.
App State returns to action Friday with the start of a three-game home series against Sun Belt foe ULM.