RALEIGH, N.C. — William and Mary's landmark season lasted longer than any in school history as the Tribe extended its stay four games into the Raleigh Regional of the NCAA baseball tournament.
But the end came with a second straight loss to North Carolina State as No. 3-seeded William &nd Mary fell 9-2 to the top-seeded Wolfpack (47-14) before another full house of 3,000 fans at cozy Doak Field on the N.C. State campus Sunday.
"I'm proud of our guys and our seniors for what they accomplished this year," said Tribe first-year coach Jamie Pinzino. "Hopefully this is going to be a program changing season for us and we can keep it going."
Between the Saturday and Sunday night losses to the nationally No. 9-ranked Wolfpack, the Tribe managed to sweep two games from Ole Miss of the SEC. After defeating the Rebels 4-2 in Friday's opener, the Tribe knocked off Ole Miss again 4-1 Sunday afternoon to earn a Sunday evening rematch with N.C. State.
A win Sunday night would have forced a championship game on Monday to advance to the Super Regional. But the second loss in the double-elimination event sent the Tribe home with a school record for most wins in a season (39-24) and the program's first two victories in NCAA tournament play. William and Mary was making its third NCAA appearance — its first since 2001.
"North Carolina State was the best team in the regional and they played like the best team," Pinzino said. "They played very well and they beat us twice in the process."
The Tribe opened the Sunday night game with a well-rested staff since Brett Koehler was able to pitch a complete game earlier in the day against Ole Miss. Pinzino sent senior Matt Wainman to the mound as his fourth starter.
Wainman had picked up a save with one shutout inning on Friday, but N.C. State got to him in the first inning. Shortstop Trae Turner, a .378 hitter, led off with a single and right fielder Jake Fincher another single. After a fielder's choice on a grounder by Brett Austin, first baseman Tarran Senay stroked 340-foot three-run blast over the right field fence into the Carolina pines for a sudden 3-0 lead.
Senay was the named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. For the three games he was 5 of 11 with two home runs and 7 RBI. He was 2 of 4 with a home run and 2 RBI in Friday's 4-1 win over Binghamton, 1 of 2 win Saturday's 1-0 win over W&M and 2 of 5 with a home run and 5 RBI in Sunday's victory.
Two William and Mary players joining him on the all-tournament team were Koehler and catcher Ryan Hissey.
The Tribe fell behind N.C. State 6-0 before finally breaking through with a run in the seventh inning.
Hissey doubled down the right-field line and Jackson Shaver doubled down the left-field line to score Hissey. The run was the first of N.C. State pitching in 22 2/3 innings back to the second inning of Friday's 4-1 win over Binghamton.
William and Mary added an unearned run in the eighth. Ryan Brown reached first on an error and came home on another error, a field's choice and a third error in the stanza.
With the 3-0 regional record, N.C. State has won eight of its past nine games. The lone loss was to nationally No. 6-ranked North Carolina in the ACC semifinals before 11,392 fans at Durham Athletic Ballpark.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun