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Host NC State passes South Carolina 6-4 to advance to the Raleigh Regional Championship

RALEIGH, N.C. – Eli Serrano III and Garrett Pennington combined for five runs, five hits and three home runs to lead host North Carolina State past South Carolina 6-4 on Saturday night to advance to the championship game of the Raleigh Regional.

NC State (35-20), the No. 10 national seed in the NCAA tournament, will play the winner of James Madison-South Carolina on Sunday in the regional championship.

Serrano finished 3 for 5. Pennington hit two early home runs and later walked twice.

Serrano’s solo homer gave the Wolfpack a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Dylan Brewer, who hit a solo home run in the fifth, answered for the Gamecocks with a two-run home run in the seventh, making it 4-4.

Serrano singled and eventually scored in the seventh. Matt Heavner led off the eighth for the Wolfpack with a bunt-single and advanced to second on Serrano’s grounder. Pennington was walked intentionally and Heavner scored on a throwing error by catcher Dalton Reeves, ending the scoring.

Wolfpack’s Derrick Smith gave up one hit while striking out four in 1 2/3 innings for his sixth save.

Connor McCreery pitched just 1/3 inning in the seventh for South Carolina (37-24), but gave up one run for the loss.

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