Rice (44-19) took a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning, but surrendered the lead and lost to NC State 4-3. Brett Williams singled to start the inning, stole second, and went to third on an error by pitcher Zech Lemond.
Logan Ratledge bunted and Williams slid under the tag to tie the game 3-3. Two batters later, Jake Fincher’s single to left scored Jake Armstrong with the winning run.
“This team is pretty gritty,” N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said. “This team is pretty tough. I’d pay money to come watch this team.”
Austin Kubitza of Rice and N.C. State’s Carlos Rodon were locked in a pitchers duel for the first seven innings, with each starter allowing two runs before leaving the game. Rodon was removed in the ninth with runners on first and second, setting up Stringer’s go-ahead RBI.
Kubitza gave up five hits and struck out eight before leaving in the eighth with runners on first and second.