NC State's Evan Edwards (Aaron Fitt)


Edwards Helps Key NC State’s Surge

At The Ballpark

• On NC State’s explosive offense, which has been bolstered by the addition of juco transfer Evan Edwards
• Thoughts on NC State’s pitching and the team’s overall chances in the ACC
• On Tristin English’s road back from Tommy John surgery for Georgia Tech

RALEIGH, N.C. — It felt like deja vu to Elliott Avent. Two days after Georgia Tech had blitzed his NC State club for six runs early and cruised to a 13-4 win in the series opener, the Wolfpack found itself down 5-0 in the fifth inning of Sunday’s rubber game.

But this time, his team had an answer.

Evan Edwards put the Wolfpack right back in the game with a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fifth, and he went deep again to kick off a six-run eighth inning that propelled NC State to a satisfying 9-6 victory, improving it to 7-2 in the ACC — the best record in the conference after three weeks of play.

“I think what makes it more special to me and more impressive to me is the fact that we got off to that bad start Friday night, I think it was like 6-0, it went to 7-0, and we had a couple shots in that game — it didn’t seem like it with the score winding up like it did,” Avent said. “But after Friday night’s game to get down the very same way, with some balls finding some grass and then we not pick the ball up a couple times, which I thought was kind of uncharacteristic of us. To come back because of Friday night was even more impressive.”

From the comfort of the stands at Doak Field, it seemed inevitable to me that NC State was going to make a run Sunday. Even down 5-3 after five innings, NC State was out-hitting Georgia Tech 8-5 — and seven of the Wolfpack’s eight hits were squared up, while just two of Tech’s hits were the result of hard contact (two others were bloops, and one was a bunt). The Wolfpack has the best lineup in the ACC, with talented hitters from top to bottom and some serious star power in the top six, and its power can impact a game at any moment. State leads the league with 42 home runs — 11 more than second-place Georgia Tech.

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