Pack Stay Alive

NC State used a two-run sixth inning to take the lead and hung on for a 5-2 win in game three of the Columbia Regional Saturday afternoon. With the win State will advance to meet the loser of game four between South Carolina and Stetson set for 7:00 Saturday night. With the loss, Georgia Southern is eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.

In what has proved to be one of the closest Regionals in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, game three of the Columbia Regional was just like the first two. North Carolina State scored two runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead and scored two more with two outs in the ninth for a 5-2 victory over Georgia Southern Saturday afternoon. NC State (35-26) will face the loser of the South Carolina/Stetson game Sunday afternoon at 1:00. Georgia Southern finishes the year with a 36-26 record.

Georgia Southern got on the board first against Wolfpack starter Cory Mazzoni. Shawn Payne was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and then stole second base. He was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Eric Phillips and scored on a Victor Roache double off the wall in left center.

Mazzoni quickly settled down and was dominant the rest of the afternoon. He struck out 12 Eagle batters - his seventh 10+ strikeout performance of the year - gave up four hits and two runs in eight innings of work.

After failing to get a hit in the first three innings, NC State finally got on the board in teh fourth. Danny Canela hit a solo homerun over the wall in right to tie the game at 1-1.

The Wolfpack would take the lead in the sixth inning. Brett Williams led off with a walk and Pratt Maynard singled. After Canela flied out to center, Harold Riggins singled home Williams. Tarran Senay singled to right, but Maynard was held at second and Riggins ran through second and got caught in a rundown. He was tagged out diving back to second, but Maynard was able to beat the throw to the plate and give the Pack a 3-1 lead.

Georgia Southern scratched another run in its half of the sixth. Phillips led off with a single and stole second. He moved over to third on a flyout to right by Steve Cochrane, and then scored on a wild pitch.

NC State would put the game away in its half of the ninth. After Riggins struck out looking, Senay singled to right again. He was out on a Andrew Ciencin fielder's choice, but Cameron Conner came through with an RBI double off the wall in left center to score Ciencin. Matt Bergquist singled to right to score Conner to give NC State the 5-2 win.

Roache - who led the nation with 30 homeruns entering the NCAA Tournament- went 2-for-4 but failed to hit a homerun in the losses to South Carolina on Friday and NC State on Saturday.

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