NC State Beats Stanford With Bizarre, Game-Ending Double Play at College World Series

The College World Series started Saturday with a plethora of defensive errors from both Stanford and North Carolina State. However, it was a base running blunder that turned a routine fielders choice out into a game-ending double play.

N.C. State won the opening game, 10-4, after padding their lead with four runs in the top of the ninth.

Stanford led off the bottom of the ninth with a Drew Bowser single to right field and then Tommy Troy reached base after N.C. State made a fielding error. A fly to left by Carter Graham gave the Cardinal one out, bringing Grant Burton to the plate. Burton hit a slow roller to second, and the Wolfpack made a force out at second. No throw was made to first for a double play.

It seemed there would be two outs with runners on first and third. The second base umpire threw his arms in the air to call timeout. He pointed at Troy to call him out at second. Then he pointed at Burton and called him out at first.

Players on both teams looked confused.

College World Series
A panoramic photo of the NCAA Baseball Men's College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park on June 25, 2019 in Omaha, Nebraska. This year's CWS began Saturday, June 19, 2021, at TD Ameritrade Park between N.C. State and Stanford. Photo by James Blakeway/Blakeway World Panoramas/Getty Images

The umpiring crew said Troy interfered with the play at second, which subsequently led to not only him being called out, but the guy who reached first base safely was called out as well.

Stanford coach David Esquer came out to appeal the play, so the umpiring crew reviewed the play on video. N.C. State players awkwardly stood around, wondering if they had won. Stanford players remained on the bases and there was a rare silence at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

The umpires upheld the on-field call, giving the unseeded N.C. State team a win over No. 9-seeded Stanford. N.C. State moves on to face the winner of Saturday night's game between No. 4 Vanderbilt and No. 5 Arizona, and Stanford will play the loser of that game on Monday in an elimination game.

N.C. State junior Jonny Butler hit a two-run homer in the first inning and had a game-high five runs batted in. Devonte Brown also homered for the Wolfpack.

N.C. State took a 6-0 lead by the top of the fourth off of Stanford starting pitcher Brendan Beck, who struck out 10 batters and only allowed three earned runs, with the other three runs coming off errors.

Stanford chipped away with one run in the bottom of the fourth, and they scored three in the bottom of the seventh while stranding three runners to end the inning.

N.C. State got into the NCAA tournament after finishing runner-up to Duke in the ACC Tournament. The Wolfpack played in the Ruston (La.) Regional, where they took down Alabama and the host Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

The Wolfpack then had the Herculean task of playing the Fayetteville Super Regional against the No. 1 Arkansas Razorbacks, who was a favorite to win the entire tournament. Arkansas won game 1 in the best-of-3 regional with a score of 21-2. N.C. State then scratched out a pair of 1-run wins to take the super.

The other half of this year's CWS field will begin Sunday with Virginia and No. 3 Tennessee at 2 p.m. ET, followed by No. 2 Texas versus No. 7 Mississippi State at 7 p.m. ET.