The victory moves NC State (35-21) into the winner's bracket on Saturday and the Pack will take on the survivor of the evening matchup between top-seed TCU and Sacred Heart at 8 p.m.
"I am just really proud of our guys," NC State head coach Elliott Avent said. "They just keep getting better. Everybody keeps talking about the end but I thought all year this was a good baseball team."
The game was moving crisply as both schools struggled to muster anything offensively. Ratledge smacked an offering from Stony Brook starter Daniel Zamora (7-3)over the left field wall near the foul pole to hand the Wolfpack a two-run lead.
"Zamora did a good job all day long," Ratledge said. "You have got to tip your cap to him. He is a great pitcher. Luckily, he left one over the plate and I got a good swing on it."
For some, Britt (3-0) was a surprise decision to start the opening game of the NCAA Tournament. After struggling in the first, the righty ultimately went five and one-third innings and allowed four hits. Will Gilbert entered the contest with one out in the sixth, wiggled out of a couple of jams and allowed only two hits over three and two-thirds innings of work for his third save of the season.
"I was excited because the first game is a big one for us and everyone in the tournament," Britt said. "Personally, I felt like my fastball command was not as sharp as it usually is. They were pretty aggressive. I made some big pitches that got me out of some jams. Overall, I figured it out and got some big outs." The win is NC State's 14th in its last 17 games. "Fundamentally, we just keep getting better all year," Avent said. "We slow the game down better than we have at any point this season."