NC State takes the field with only 13 active players after COVID-19 issues delayed game against Vanderbilt

The Wolfpack was anything but Friday.

Minutes before the first pitch of Friday’s game between NC State and Vanderbilt in the College World Series, the game was delayed due to COVID-19 concerns. NC State was forced to hold back a number of players and had the option to forfeit and try again against Vanderbilt in a win-win game on Saturday.

But NC State voted overwhelmingly to enter the field rather than forfeiting and playing with just 13 players: nine positional players and four pitchers, a significant drop from the 36 players usually registered and active on game day.

An undisclosed number of players are in coronavirus protocol, according to the team, and the first pitch was delayed by more than an hour as the team sorted out their health and safety concerns. Starting second baseman JT Jarrett is among the missing regulars for NC State.

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The total number of new guys in roster for NC State over the season: just 3 for 27. And they are all in first year. And It’s not easier: they face Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker, one of the nation’s top pitchers, on Friday.

NC State has the opportunity to eliminate Vanderbilt and strike his ticket to their first College World Series final next week with a win on Friday. Otherwise, they have another opportunity on Saturday to eliminate the Commodores.

Win or lose, however, what a brave way for the Wolfpack to take the field on Friday.

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