May 21, 1998
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The fourth-seeded Wolfpack of North Carolina (40-21) rolled to a 12-3 victory over the third-seeded Long Beach State 49ers (37-21-1) in game #3 of the NCAA West Regional at Sunken Diamond. N.C. State mounted a 8-1 lead after scoring four runs in both the first and third innings en route to the victory.
The Wolfpack hit LBSU started Caleb Balbuena (6-3) early, tallying nine hits in the first three innings. N.C. State earned all four runs in the third inning with two outs. Both Brad Piercy (19) and Adrean Acevedo (4) homered for the Wolfpack. Matt Postell recorded a career-high four hits with two runs scored and one RBI to lead the charge. N.C. State racked up a total of 18 hits in the contest.
Kurt Blackmon earned his eleventh win of the season as he gave up 11 hits and three runs while striking out four in eight innings. "It was not a good game for Kurt," said head coach Elliot Avent. "Our lead helped him and he threw enough strikes to help himself out. He wasn't overpowering but he did a good job of throwing strikes." "We played real well today," said Avent. "It was nice to have a veteran like Blackman throwing today."
LBSU was led by Chuck Lopez, who was three of four on the day. Terrmel Sledge hit his ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh inning. Balbuena gave up six runs off eight hits in two and two-thirds.
The 49ers will face the winner of the Stanford/Loyola Marymount game tomorrow at 3:00 while N.C. State will play the winner of the Alabam/Minnesota game tomorrow at 7:00.
North Carolina State 404 100 201 x 12 18 1
Long Beach State 001 000 200 x 3 11 2
WP: Blackmon (11-5) LP: Balbuena (6-3)
2B: figueroa (6)
HR: Piercy (19), Acevedo (4), Sledge (9)
NC STATE HEAD COACH ELLIOT AVENT:
"We played real well today. It was nice to have a veteran like Blackmon on the mound today."
"(On Blackman) It was not a good game for him. Our lead helped him and he threw enough strikes to help himself out. He wasn't overpowering, but he did a good job of throwing strikes."
"(On Postell) He hadn't gotten a-lot of at bats because of injury but we went with the percentages of a left hander versus a right hander."
"In a tournament like this, I just wanted to throw strikes and rely on defense. I did a good job of putting the ball in play so the defense could do their job."
LONG BEACH STATE HEAD COACH DAVE SNOW:
"The two four-run innings N.C. State strung together happened real fast. We felt a little down in the dugout after that. They dominated the game."
"(On started Caleb Balbuena) His location was poor today. He spent most of the day throwing his fastball down the middle and their hitters did a good job of getting on top of the ball."
"We came in here with some momentum but I'm not sure our team was ready to take a blow like this today."