Prior to the game, NC State put out a statement that said several players were put into COVID-19 protocol and would be unavailable Friday. That left the Wolfpack with a limited roster of 13 available players to face the Commodores. NC State is one win away from the College World Series finals, as Vanderbilt must defeat the Wolfpack twice. A Vanderbilt win on Friday forces another meeting on Saturday.
“The other guys are getting tested right now. Hopefully with negative tests they’ll be back tomorrow,” Avent told ESPN.
The Wolfpack’s adjustments included inserting Garrett Payne as the starting pitcher and pitcher Sam Highfill at first base. Payne had pitched only 8.2 innings all season. Highfill pitched 7.1 innings and allowed only two hits in NC State’s 1-0 win against Vanderbilt on Monday. It’s his first start of the season at first. The Wolfpack’s Carson Falsken made his first start of the season at second, DeAngelo Giles made his first start at third and Eddie Eisert is at DH for only the second time this year.
NC State’s head coach became aware of the health and safety protocols some of the players on his team would have to be put under about 45 minutes prior to game time on Friday.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Looking at NC State’s march to the CWS