RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)– NC State jumped on top of Stanford in the first inning and never looked back winning their first game of 2021 College World Series 10-4.
“We played well and were fortunate to get off to a great start,” said NC State head coach Elliott Avent. “We came back in the ninth (runs), and that was a big, big inning for us.”
NC State junior Jonny Butler had a monster day at the plate. He put the Wolfpack on top with a 2 run home run in the first inning. On the day he went 3-for-4 with a career-high 5-RBI in the game.
“I had a lot of confidence coming in here I played really well that last game against Arkansas,” said Butler. “There was a lot of pressure on the pitchers all game because every time I was up I think there was runners in scoring position.”
On the mound, Reid Johnston held it down the first 6 innings scattering 6 hits, striking out 5 and holding Stanford to 3 earned runs in the win.
Evan Justice came on to slam the door tossing 3 shutout innings and striking out 4 to earn the save. Most impressive was his ability to wiggle out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th inning allowing just one unearned run.
“I just tried to keep the same approach I always do just fill up the zone and pitch to contact for a lot of strikes,” said pitcher Evan Justice. “One thing you don’t want to be in that situation is be out of the zone and give them free bases.”
NC State has now won 32 of its last 41 games, and on the season is 23-6 away from home. This was only the third all-time game between the Pack and Stanford. The Cardinal won each of the previous two matchups, both at the 2006 NCAA Austin Regional.