College baseball: NC State beats Gamecocks, advances to regional championship game on Sunday

Published 7:04 am Sunday, June 2, 2024

RALEIGH (AP) — Eli Serrano III and Garrett Pennington combined for five runs, five hits, and three home runs to lead host North Carolina State past South Carolina 6-4 on Saturday night to advance to the championship game of the Raleigh Regional.

N.C. State (35-20), the No. 10 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, will play the James Madison-South Carolina winner in the regional championship on Sunday.

Serrano finished 3 for 5. Pennington hit two early home runs and later walked twice.

Serrano’s solo homer gave the Wolfpack a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Dylan Brewer, who hit a solo home run in the fifth, answered for the Gamecocks with a two-run home run in the seventh that tied it 4-4.

Serrano singled and eventually scored in the seventh. Matt Heavner led off the eighth for the Wolfpack with a bunt single and advanced to second on Serrano’s ground out. Pennington was intentionally walked, and Heavner scored on a throwing error by catcher Dalton Reeves to end the scoring.

The Wolfpack’s Derrick Smith gave up one hit while striking out four in 1 2/3 innings for his sixth save.

Connor McCreery pitched just 1/3 inning in the seventh for South Carolina (37-24), but gave up one run for the loss.