Losing its first series of the season to Virginia Tech in Coral Gables, Florida last weekend was almost not enough for Miami (3-4, 1-3 ACC) to take the opening contest of its road series versus NC State (4-4, 1-3 ACC) on Friday.
Sophomore left fielder Jordan Lala drove in three runs, though NC State center fielder Tyler McDonough scored three runs, left-handed pitcher Evan Justice (1-1) struck out nine batters, and NC State defeated No. 6 Miami 11-5 at Doak Field.
Miami got on the board 1-0 off of an Adrian Del Castillo sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Lala from third base. Third baseman Raymond Gil, who finished 0-for-3, struck out swinging to prevent additional runs from being added in the opening inning.
McDonough scored an unearned run after left fielder Jonny Butler reached first base on a passed ball, tying the game at one run apiece in the bottom of the first.
A McDonough solo home run ignited what would be a four-run third inning for the Wolfpack, as NC State regained the advantage, 4-1. Miami junior right-handed starting pitcher Daniel Federman (0-3) gave up another to catcher Luca Tresh, as no outs remained.
Third baseman Vojtech Mensik flew out to right field to end the third, and Miami freshman right-handed reliever Jake Garland, who struck out five Hokies batters in the series opener versus Virginia Tech, replaced Federman in the fourth inning.
On a 2-1 count, Lala hit a two-out, three-run shot to left field, tying the ball game at five after junior center fielder Tony Jenkins walked, and redshirt junior right fielder Christian Del Castillo advanced to second base on a wild pitch.
NC State, however, mirrored its third-inning scoring avalanche in the bottom of the fourth. Shortstop Jose Torres homered to left-center field, and catcher Luca Tresh followed with a one-out single down the right field line. Right fielder Devonte Brown hit a two-out home run to score Tresh and cushion the Wolfpack lead, 9-5.
Throwing just a 12-pitch fifth frame, Justice retired the Canes in order. Shortstop Yohandy Morales, who had an 0-for-4 afternoon, grounded out, and catcher Adrian Del Castillo and Gil both struck out swinging.
Justice held Miami scoreless once again in the sixth inning, as NC State reliever Reid Johnston filled in for the former leader in Wolfpack bullpen appearances. Johnston would not let up a Hurricanes run for the final four frames, recording five strikeouts while only one hit was allowed.
Despite leading NC State 11-7 all-time in Raleigh, N.C., Miami searches for a win on Saturday before even attempting a series win in the rubber game.