The Wolfpacker

July 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 129 of 155

A SPECIAL SEASON Veteran Leaders And Young Stars Combined To Power Wolfpack Baseball In 2012 A BY BRUCE WINKWORTH lmost from the very start, there was a palpable buzz surrounding the 2012 NC State baseball team, a buzz that intensified as the sea- son went along. When all was said and done, the Wolfpack had made an impres- sion and was the talk of national baseball writers, bloggers and broadcasters. It all began with a storybook recruiting class, believed at the time to possibly be the best in school history. It may go down as one of the greatest in the history of college 128 ■ THE WOLFPACKER baseball. Baseball America rated the Pack's recruiting class fourth in the nation. When three of those recruits — catcher Brett Aus- tin, left-hander Carlos Rodon and infielder Trea Turner — turned down serious bonus money from Major League Baseball teams last August to come to NC State, heads turned, jaws dropped and the buzz really began in earnest. "I knew this team had a chance to be good in the fall," Wolfpack head coach Elliott Avent said. "I saw how good the freshmen were. We thought they were good. Baseball America saw fit to rank them fourth in the country, and early on we saw that that was probably a pretty good ranking." With strong leadership from senior cap- tain and first baseman Andrew Ciencin, junior shortstop Chris Diaz, junior sec- ond baseman Matt Bergquist, senior right- hander Vance Williams, and junior right- handers Chris Overman and Ethan Ogburn, Avent was able to bring his newcomers along at their own pace instead of throwing them into the deep end of the pool from the start. That paid huge dividends.

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