The Wolfpack was anything but on Friday.
Just minutes before first pitch of Friday’s NC State and Vanderbilt matchup in the College World Series, the game was delayed amidst COVID-19 concerns. NC State was forced to withhold a number of players and had the option to forfeit the game and try again against Vanderbilt in a winner-take-all matchup on Saturday.
But NC State overwhelmingly voted to take the field rather than forfeit and play with just 13 players: Nine position players and four pitchers, dramatically down from 36 players usually rostered and active for game day.
An undisclosed number of players are in coronavirus protocol, according to the team, and first pitch was delayed over an hour as the team sorted out its health and safety issues. Starting second baseman JT Jarrett is among the regular lineup players missing for NC State.
The total numbers for new guys in the lineup for NC State on the season: Just 3 for 27. And they’re all freshman. And it doesn’t get any easier: They face Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker on Friday, one of the nation’s top pitchers.
NC State has an opportunity to knock off Vanderbilt and punch their ticket to their first College World Series finals next week with a win on Friday. If not, they have another opportunity on Saturday to knock out the Commodores.
Win or lose, though, what a gutsy way for the Wolfpack to take the field on Friday.
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