FAYETTEVILLE — North Carolina State will come into the Fayetteville Super Regional hoping to spoil No. 1 Arkansas’ season.
NC State went undefeated at the Ruston Regional defeating Alabama once and host Louisiana Tech twice to advance to face the Razorbacks.
Here’s five things to know about NC State.
- NC State is 33-17 on the season, but is a very good road team. While they are only 13-12 at home, they are 17-3 on the road and 3-2 at neutral sites. On Sunday, May 30, they fell to Duke 1-0 in the ACC Tournament finals.
- Former Razorback running back Terry Tatum’s son is one of four NC State players hitting over .300. Outfielder Terrell Tatum has 11 home runs, 35 runs batted in and hitting .321 on the season. Terry was a four-year letterman at Arkansas from 1982-85 from Little Rock Mills. Outfielder Jonny Butler has 12 home runs, 46 runs batted in and hitting .389 to lead the team in batting average. Infielder-outfielder Tyler McDonough leads the team with 15 home runs. He has knocked in 43 runs and hitting .351. Infielder-outfielder Austin Murr has seven home runs, 31 RBI and .329. Tatum has stole 15 bases in 17 attempts while Butler is 15 of 16. McDonough has stolen 13 bases in 17 attempts while Murr has been successful four times in six tries.
- The common opponents for Arkansas and NC State are Alabama and Louisiana Tech. As noted NC went 3-0 in the Ruston Regionals against those teams. They beat Alabama 8-1 and defeated Louisiana Tech 8-3 and 14-7. Arkansas was 4-2 against those two teams. They lost to Alabama 16-1 and defeated them 9-1 and 3-1. The Hogs defeated Louisiana Tech 9-7 in 10 innings and 8-1 before losing 2-0 in final game of the series. Those three games were also played in Ruston.
- A trio of pitchers have gotten the majority of the starts on the mound for NC State. Reed Johnston has pitched in 14 games with 10 starts. He leads the team in ERA at 3.90. He is 8-2 on the season in 87.2 innings, struck out 86 and walked 21. Evan Justice is the closer with 10 saves. Justice has been in 20 games with 4 starts. He has an ERA of 4.47 and is 4-2. In 50.1 innings, Justice has struck out 62 and walked 24 batters. Sam Highfill has a record of 7-2 with an ERA of 3.95. He has appeared in 14 games with all of them starts. In 79.2 innings, Highfill has struck out 72 and only walked 22. Matt Willadsen is 5-3 with an ERA of 4.97. He has appeared in 17 games with 12 starts. In 79.2 innings, he has struck out 68 and walked 25. Justice is the only lefty of the four.
- NC State finished 19-14 in regular season ACC play. While Arkansas hasn’t lost a series the entire season, NC State is 6-5 in ACC series. They had only won three series and lost five before winning the final three ACC series in the regular season. They were 1-8 in ACC play to start before sweeping North Carolina.