After winning a school-record 39 games, which included the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament wins, the William and Mary baseball team fell to seventh-ranked N.C. State, 9-2, on Sunday night in the Raleigh Regional final at Doak Field. The Wolfpack jumped out to a three-run advantage after an inning of play and tacked on three-run innings in the sixth and eighth en route to advancing to next week’s Super Regionals. The Green and Gold’s magical and historic 2013 campaign came to a close at 39-24 as one of the final 32 teams playing in the NCAA Tournament, while N.C. State improves to 47-14.
Freshman catcher Ryan Hissey and senior pitcher Brett Koehler were honored on the Raleigh All-Tournament Team for their performances. Hissey led the Tribe with four hits, including a double, in the regional to go along with two RBI’s and two runs scored. He was also a standout behind the plate, registering nine assists in a stellar defensive showing through W&M's four games at the event. In his final start for W&M earlier in the day on Sunday, Koehler, who was one of two pitchers named to the All-Regional Team, threw a 98-pitch, complete game in the Tribe's 4-1 over No. 23 Ole Miss, advancing the Green and Gold to the regional final.
On the night against N.C. State, Hissey led the Tribe attack at the plate, going 2-of-4 with a double and a run scored. Seniors Jackson Shaver and Ryan Williams picked up doubles in their final collegiate games, while Shaver drove home his third run of the NCAA Regional. Senior Ryan Brown and sophomore Michael Katz each finished with a hit, and Brown also tallied a run scored.
Senior left-hander Matt Wainman (4-4), who made his first start since March 27, took the loss in 5.1 innings, striking out three, but allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits. Junior John Sheehan worked the final 2.2 innings, finishing with one strikeout, while allowing three earned runs on four hits. N.C. State's freshman Brad Stone (3-2) picked up the win in 5.1 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out three and allowing four hits. Senior Grant Sasser came on in the eighth and picked the final five outs to earn his ninth save, while striking out three batters.
N.C. State got off to a fast start on Sunday evening with three runs in the bottom half of the first. Sophomores Trea Turner and Jake Fincher, who were both named to the All-Regional Team, started off the inning with back-to-back singles, before a fielder’s choice from sophomore Brett Austin left runners at the corners with one out. Senior Tarran Senay followed with a three-run home run over the right field wall to give the Wolfpack an early cushion.
After N.C. State’s Stone retired the first seven Tribe hitters in order, the Green and Gold had chances with runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and sixth innings, but could not push any across the plate. Williams collected the Tribe’s first hit of the contest in the third inning as his grounder bounded inside the third-base bag and into the left field corner for a one-out double, but he was stranded at third base.
In the fourth, Katz and Hissey collected singles to put runners at the corner with two outs, but Stone fanned the final Tribe batter of the inning to get out of the jam. Brown singled for W&M to start the sixth and moved up to second base on a wild pitch with no one out, but was left at second base as Ryan Wilkins came out to collect the final two outs of the inning for the Wolfpack.
N.C. State tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning as sophomore second baseman Logan Ratledge and Fincher collected run-scoring singles.
The Tribe got on the scoreboard in the seventh inning and closed the gap to 6-1 on a pair of extra base hits. Hissey led off the inning with a double into the right field corner and came around to score on Shaver’s slicing double into the left field corner.
In the eighth, the Tribe used a trio of errors from the Wolfpack defense to draw closer. Brown and Katz reached on errors to put runners at first and second with just one out. Junior Ryan Lindemuth’s grounder to first base was fielded cleanly by N.C. State’s Tarran Senay, but his throw to second base ended up in left field, allowing Brown to come around from second for the Tribe’s second run of the contest. N.C. State went to the bullpen again with just one out and two on for W&M, and Sasser responded with a pair of strikeouts to close the eighth inning.
Senay made amends for his errant throw in the bottom of the inning as the Wolfpack added three more runs to put the game out of reach. After a run trotted home on a wild pitch, Senay lined a single to left center field with the bases loaded to drive in a pair and increase the N.C. State lead to the final margin of 9-2. Senay, who was named the Raleigh Regional Most Outstanding Player, finished with five RBI’s in the victory over W&M and seven for the tournament. The Raleigh All-Region Team included: pitcher Carlos Rodon (N.C. State), Brett Koehler (W&M), Senay at first base, second baseman Logan Ratledge (N.C. State), shortstops Trea Turner (N.C. State) and Austin Anderson (Ole Miss), third baseman Grant Clyde (N.C. State), outfielders Jake Fincher (N.C. State), Tanner Mathius (Ole Miss) and Zach Blanden (Binghamton) and catcher Ryan Hissey (W&M).
Six Tribe seniors wore the Green and Gold for the final time on Sunday evening, capping their careers in remarkable fashion with the record setting season. The W&M senior class includes: Ryan Brown, John Farrell, Brett Koehler, Jackson Shaver, Matt Wainman and Ryan Williams. For all the latest on Tribe Baseball go to TribeAthletics.com.