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NCAA.com | June 25, 2021

NC State baseball coach Avent hopeful tested players will join team on Saturday

Vanderbilt hands NC State its first loss of the College World Series

During a Friday in-game interview with ESPN, NC State coach Elliott Avent said players who were not allowed to play Friday vs. Vanderbilt are currently being tested at the hotel. He hopes they'll be ready to go for Saturday's game, which is for a spot in the CWS finals.

Prior to the game, NC State put out a statement that said several players were put into COVID-19 protocol and would be unavailable Friday. That left the Wolfpack with a limited roster of 13 available players to face the Commodores. Vanderbilt won 3-1 to force Saturday's game.

CWS NEWS: Keep up with the schedule at the College World Series

"The other guys are getting tested right now. Hopefully with negative tests they'll be back tomorrow," Avent told ESPN.

The Wolfpack's adjustments included inserting Garrett Payne as the starting pitcher and pitcher Sam Highfill at first base. Payne had pitched only 8.2 innings all season. Highfill pitched 7.1 innings and allowed only two hits in NC State's 1-0 win against Vanderbilt on Monday. It was his first start of the season at first. The Wolfpack's Carson Falsken made his first start of the season at second, DeAngelo Giles made his first start at third and Eddie Eisert is at DH for only the second time this year.

NC State's head coach became aware of the health and safety protocols some of the players on his team would have to be put under about 45 minutes prior to game time on Friday.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Looking at NC State's march to the CWS

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 19-30, 2021
TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, NE

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