Butler’s first inning homer gets Wolfpack offense going in 10-4 win over Stanford to open College World Series

6/19/2021 

W: Reid Johnston (9-3) LBrendan Beck (9-2) S: Evan Justice (12)

North Carolina State

BATTING

2B: Tyler McDonough 1; Luca Tresh 1; Vojtech Mensik 1

HR: Jonny Butler 1; Devonte Brown 1

RBI: Tyler McDonough 1; Jonny Butler 5; Luca Tresh 1; Devonte Brown 1; Vojtech Mensik 2

BASERUNNING:

RUNS: Austin Murr 2; Tyler McDonough 1; Jonny Butler 2; Terrell Tatum 1; Luca Tresh 1; Devonte Brown 1; Vojtech Mensik 1; J.T. Jarrett 1

SB: Austin Murr 1

PO: Jonny Butler 1

Stanford

BATTING:

HR: Tim Tawa 1; Christian Robinson 1

RBI: Tim Tawa 1; Christian Robinson 2

BASERUNNING:

RUNS: Tim Tawa 1; Kody Huff 1; Christian Robinson 1; Nick Brueser 1

OF Butler has career-high 5-RBI game, homer in first ignites offense

OMAHA, NEB. – NC State scored the game’s first six runs, and added four more insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning, to open the 2021 College World Series with a 10-4 win over #9 seeded Stanford.

The Wolfpack (36-18) scored six runs before the Cardinal (38-16) recorded its first hit of the game in the fourth inning. Stanford closed the game to 6-4 in the seventh, but a four-run ninth inning closed out the Pack’s win.

“We played well and were fortunate to get off to a great start. We came back in the ninth (with more runs), and that was a big, big inning for us,” said NC State coach Elliott Avent.

The Pack will next face the winner of #4 Vanderbilt vs. #5 Arizona on Monday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

Jonny Butler was 3-for-4 with a career-high 5-RBI game, while Vojtech Mensik hit a two-run single in the ninth.

Reid Johnston started the game and earned the win after he went six strong innings. Evan Justice closed out the remaining three innings allowing just a pair of hits to go with four strikeouts.

First pitch, first hit as Austin Murr reached safely with a single up the middle to start the game. Murr then advanced to second base with his sixth steal of the season. On the very next pitch, Butler drove the ball out of the park for his 14th home run of the season and a quick 2-0 Pack lead.

Stanford ace Brendan Beck (9-1, 2.96 ERA entering the game), gave up three hits and two runs in a 20-pitch first inning.

After Johnston started his day with a pair of strikeouts in a 1-2-3 first inning, the Pack tacked on another run in the top of the second. Mensik reached on a two-base error, and Tyler McDonough drove him in with a two-out single for a 3-0 lead.

Johnston retired the first eight batters he faced before allowing a four-pitch walk in the bottom of the third, but got a fly out to keep the score 3-0 through three.

The Pack once again extended the lead in the fourth, as Devonte Brown led off the inning with the Pack’s second home run to right-center field. After a double steal put runners on second and third with two outs, Butler came through once again with a two-run single to plate two more and extend the lead to 6-0.

Stanford’s first hit of the game came in the fourth inning, as Tim Tawa led off with a home run to plate the first run for the Cardinal.
 
The score remained 6-1 until the bottom of the seventh inning as Christian Robinson hit a two-run home run to cut the Pack’s lead to 6-3. After another pair of Cardinal hits, the Pack went to Justice out of the bullpen.
 
Johnston only gave up two hits in the first six innings, but Stanford opened their seventh inning with four straight hits. Johnston pitched six innings and recorded five strikeouts.
 
Justice inherited runners on first and second with no outs. After a strikeout and then a single to load the bases, Justice recorded his second strikeout but an error by third baseman Mensik resulted in another Stanford run before a flyout to end the inning.
 
Stanford closed it to 6-4 after seven innings.
 
In the Pack’s eighth, Mensik reached base for the third time with a one-out, ground-rule double. It was the Pack’s first hit since the fourth inning, but a pair of groundouts ended the Pack threat.
 
Justice recorded another pair of strikeouts to record a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.
 
The Pack blew the game open in the top of the ninth with four insurance runs. McDonough led off the side with a double, and Butler recorded his career-best fifth RBI. Butler then scored his second run of the game after Luca Tresh’s double. The runs continued, as Mensik’s second hit of the game came with the bases loaded and drove in two more runs.
 
Stanford got the first two runners on base in the ninth, but a flyout and double play ended the game for Justice.
 
#Pack9 Notes:
• NC State has now won 32 of its last 41 games, and on the season is 23-6 away from home.
• Butler set a new career-high with his 5-RBI game, his previous best was four in a pair of games earlier this year.
• Murr became the first player to record a hit on the first pitch of a College World Series since 2010.
• NC State has now won the first game in each of its three World Series appearances: 7-6 vs. Southern Illinois in 1968 and 8-1 vs. UNC in 2013.
• 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 (7-2, 17-7).
• The Cardinal had won its last seven opening games of the College World Series in their previous trips to Omaha.

COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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