Stanford Tops NC State In NCAA Opener, 7-2

AUSTIN, Texas - Stanford scored five quick runs in the first two innings, and righthander Greg Reynolds pitched like the high draft pick he is projected to be next week as the Cardinal defeated NC State 7-2 in a first-round game at the NCAA Austin Regional at Disch-Falk Field.

The loss, NC State's third in its last four games, dropped the Wolfpack to 38-22. The Pack will face the loser of the Texas-UT-Arlington game in an elimination game at noon Saturday. Stanford improved to 31-25 with the win and will meet the winner of the Texas-UTA game at 4 p.m. on Saturday in a battle of unbeaten teams.

Reynolds (7-5), projected by Baseball America to be the fourth overall pick in next week's MLB First-Year Player Draft, pitched a complete game, his fourth in his last six games, and allowed just two runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Wolfpack starter Gib Hobson (9-2) was hit hard in the second-shortest start of his career. He was charged with five runs, all earned, on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two.

The Cardinal wasted no time scoring off Hobson in the top of the first. Ryan Seawell led off with a towering drive that Matt Camp ran down just in front of the fence in left-center. Grant Escue singled up the middle and Chris Minaker doubled down the left-field line to put runners on second and third with one away. Michael Taylor's grounder to shortstop drove in Escue, but Hobson avoided further damage by striking out Chris Lewis for the final out.

The onslaught continued in the second. Jason Castro led off with a walk, and John Hester lined a single over the head of shortstop Jonathan Diaz to put runners on first and second with none out. Randy Molina bunted the runners to second and third, and Jim Rapoport made it 3-0 with a two-run double that bounced over the wall in right-center. Hobson threw a pickoff attempt off Diaz's glove and into right-center field to move Rapoport to third base with one down, and Escue's single up the middle drove in Rapoprt to make it 4-0 and drive Hobson to the showers. Jason Duncan came out of the bullpen for the Wolfpack and gave up back-to-back singles to Minaker and Michael Taylor to drive in Escue and make it 5-0 before Duncan fanned Lewis to end the inning. Duncan held the Cardinal at five runs into the sixth inning, allowing just one run on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Molina began the top of the sixth with a high chop single off the artificial turf, and Rapopart doubled off the wall in right-center. Duncan plunked Seawell with a pitch to load the bases with none out. Escue struck out looking, and Travis High came in for the Wolfpack to face Minaker, who made it 6-0 with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Staked to the big lead in the second inning, Reynolds quickly settled in and mowed down the Wolfpack. After allowing a leadoff single to Jon Still and a walk to Ryan Pond in the bottom of the second, Reynolds set down 13 batters in a row before Camp's two-out infield single in the sixth. Ramon Corona and Aaron Bates followed with singles up the middle to drive in Camp and put NC State on the board, still trailing 6-1.

Matt Mangini led off the bottom of the eighth with a pinch-hit triple off the wall in left-center, then scored on Camp's single to left, cutting the lead to 6-2.

Stanford made it 7-2 with a run in the top of the ninth. Taylor reached on a one-out walk and Lewis was safe on Mangini's throwing error. Castro grounded to Mangini, who tagged Taylor for the second out, but Hester followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield, driving in Lewis.

Notes: Prior to the game, Collegiate Baseball announced its 2006 All-America team, and Camp and Corona were named third-team All-Americans.

Camp's two hits and one run scored give him 317 career hits and 215 career runs scored. He ranks fifth in school history in both categories. He also has played in 230 consecutive games, thesecond-longest streak in school history behind Jake Weber's ACC record of 248 consecutive games played.

NC State used six relievers against Stanford, running the season total for relief appearances by Wolfpack pitches to 194 in 60 games.

The Wolfpack will play the loser of the Texas-UT-Arlington game at noon Eastern time on Saturday. WKNC-FM (88.1) will broadcast all of NC State's tournament games live, and all broadcasts will be available online at through Yahoo's subscription service.

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