The Kentucky Wildcats defeated the North Carolina Wolfpack in a 10-5 victory that will send the team to its first NCAA super regional in history.
More than 5,000 fans filled Cliff Hagan Stadium, a record attendance level for the UK.
The start of the game was delayed by more than two hours thanks to a spring storm, but the weather didn’t deter fans.
After seeing the nearly-full bleachers, Nick Mingione, UK Coach, said, “I cannot believe these people are still here. If you don’t think … their cheering like that doesn’t help, man, you’re crazy. Because I’m confident they helped us win that game. And I couldn’t be more appreciative.”
Speaking Hjelle’s performance, NC State coach Elliot Avent said, “Actually, I felt pretty good about everything,” NC State coach Elliott Avent said. “I felt good when he came in. I thought after throwing 107 pitches Friday, I didn’t think he would be that good … I thought he was outstanding.”
Hjelle got the final ten outs of the game without surrendering a single hit.
Advancing to the Super Regional was no easy feat for the team. The Wildcats had to win three elimination games in a row to stay in the game.
The team will now go up against Louisville in the NCAA Super Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium. A spot in the College World Series is now on the line. This will be the first super regional for the team since 1999, when the NCAA adopted the bracket format.
Brett Kinneman’s two-run home run in the second inning gave North Carolina State an early lead. A two-run double from Wildcats center fielder Marcus Carson tied up the game in the fourth inning.
The Wolfpack retook the lead in the fifth, but Kentucky came back in the seventh to take control of the game.
North Carolina State finished the season at 36-25.