The Wolfpacker

May 2013 Wolfpacker

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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T By Bruce Winkworth hrough 45 games, Tarran Senay's senior season at NC State couldn't have been better scripted. The Wolfpack's first baseman and leading run producer has been strong at the plate, has played steady in the field and has stood tall in the locker room. He has been everything a coach wants in a senior and then some. With the Pack sporting a 34-11 record, including 15-8 in ACC play, and ranked No.  5 nationally at the time final exams started, Senay was hitting .326 with 13 doubles, five home runs and a team-best 45 RBI. He was second on the team in batting, slugging percentage (.512) and home runs, and tied for second in doubles. More than just productive, Senay was consistent. His longest hitless streak was two games, which happened just twice. His batting average had not dipped below .292 since March 3, a span of 33 games. He had big games, and he strung together streaks of big games. He led the Wolfpack in RBI by a whopping 13, with one more run driven in (45) than games played (44). "Tarran's really zoned in at the plate," Wolfpack head coach Elliott Avent said. "He leads us in RBI and they've been big RBI, big hits. He was tremendous in the Georgia Tech series, and he's been pretty steady every time out there. He's been left in the lineup against some pretty tough lefties in some pretty tough situations." The Georgia Tech series April 19-21 marked the high-water mark to date for Senay in 2013. He carried the Wolfpack to victory in the first game pretty much all by himself, going 3 for 6 with two doubles, a home run and six RBI in a 13-4 Wolfpack rout. Senay finished the weekend 5 for 13 with nine RBI and was named ACC Hitter of the Week after NC State swept the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta for the first time ever. "That was a great weekend for us," Senay said. "We played really well and a lot of guys made clutch plays and had clutch hits. I think we really grew as a team and showed our toughness in that series. It felt like every time I came to bat that weekend, there were guys on base, so I attribute all those RBI to my teammates doing a great job getting on base ahead of me. That's a great ballpark to hit in, one of my favorites. The ball flies out of there." Leading the team in RBI is not the same as leading the team, yet Senay has done both. A three-year regular entering his senior year, he began 2013 with 108 career starts, more than 400 career at-bats, 14 homers and 78 RBI under his belt — more than any other player on the roster. When Avent looked for his team leaders, the first guy he looked to was Senay. Senior Leader Tarran Senay Has Been A Major Presence For The Wolfpack At The Plate And In The Clubhouse Senay, who made a position switch from left field to first base before the season started, was hitting .326 with 13 doubles, five home runs and a team-best 45 RBI through April 28. photo by larry blankenship "We started out the season 18-10, 3-6 in the league," Avent said. "Sometimes that happens and it can be okay, and sometimes it's a problem, especially if you don't have good leadership. We talked about leadership all fall. No team goes anywhere without it. "From 18-10 and 3-6 to 34-11 and No. 5 in the country, I'd say that's a tribute to this team's leadership, and Tarran Senay has been a big part of that, both with his play in the field and his presence in the clubhouse." Players don't ask to be leaders. If you have to ask, you're not qualified. With Andrew Ciencin, Chris Diaz and Ryan Mathews gone from last year's squad, this team needed leaders to emerge. Senay knew better than to ask. He just did what he always did and the team gravitated to him. "I guess the role kind of found me," Senay said. "Coach Avent said at the beginning of the year that he was looking for leadership, and I wanted that role, but I really just kind of grew into it. We have 56  ■  the wolfpacker 56-58.Baseball.indd 56 4/30/13 2:33 PM

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