NC State reaches College World Series for 1st time in 45 years - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

NC State reaches College World Series for 1st time in 45 years

Posted: Updated:
North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon (16) jumps on top of teammates as they celebrate their 5-4 win over Rice in the 17th inning. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker) North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon (16) jumps on top of teammates as they celebrate their 5-4 win over Rice in the 17th inning. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
A North Carolina State fan holds up a sign following States' 5-4 win over Rice in 17 innings. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker) A North Carolina State fan holds up a sign following States' 5-4 win over Rice in 17 innings. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
RALEIGH, N.C. -

For the second time in school history, and the first time in 45 years, N.C. State is heading to Omaha for the College World Series.

"We're happy to change our designation from the only Wolfpack team to go to the College World Series to the first team to go," said Alex Cheek, a pitcher on the 1968 team, after Sunday's game.

The Pack sealed the berth with a dramatic 5-4 win over Rice in the 17th inning of the Raleigh Super Regional – it was the longest super regional game in NCAA history.

N.C. State (49-14) will play the winner of Monday night's winner-takes-all matchup between South Carolina and the University of North Carolina.

N.C. State trailed Rice (44-20) for much of the game Sunday night and was down 4-1 in the ninth inning. But the Wolfpack tied it up 4-4 in the ninth when Jake Fincher delivered a two-run double and Tarran Senay slashed an RBI double.

"It's been special these last two days," Senay said. "It doesn't matter how we get the W, as long as we win. It's a great feeling, and we'll see how we do in Omaha."

After an hour and 18 minutes rain delay in the 12th, the Wolfpack came back to take the lead in the 17th when Senay scored on a double by Brett Williams.

The Owls left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth when No. 3 hitter Keenan Cook popped a bunt back to pitcher Grant Sasser to send the game to extra innings.

"The first baseman was almost on the grass," Rice coach Wayne Graham said. "Any kind of bunt to the right side would have scored the run. It didn't exactly go in the right direction."

Rice (44-20) tied a season-high with three home runs. Two were solo shots by Christian Stringer.

N.C. State starter Logan Jernigan held Rice to two hits over five innings including Stringer's first home run.

Owls' starter Jordan Stephens yielded one earned run in 6 1-3 innings, and the Wolfpack left 15 runners on base.

N.C. State has played in four Super Regionals, but Sunday night marked the first time the team has won it. In 2003, State fell to Miami; in 2008 the Pack lost to Georgia; and last year Florida topped the Pack.

The 1968 Wolfpack team eventually lost to the University of Southern California in the semifinals of the College World Series. USC went on to win the tournament.

RELATED STORIES

Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.