College World Series 2021: NC State, Vanderbilt game delayed
Friday’s College World Series semifinal game between NC State and Vanderbilt has been delayed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols within the Wolfpack program.
The Wolfpack announced the game, which was initially supposed to start around 2 p.m. ET, would instead begin at 3:07 p.m. ET. “An undisclosed number of players from the team have been put into COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable for today’s game,” NC State said in a statement.
The school has not released the name of the player who tested positive for COVID-19. According to ESPN, second baseman JT Jarrett and pitcher Evan Justice are not at the ballpark.
As the game’s first pitch drew closer, NC State and the NCAA were working to find out if Wolfpack players or members of other College World Series teams would be affected by contact tracing.
Justice recorded a save for the Wolfpack against the Commodores when the two teams played on June 21. He has posted one win and four saves in NC State’s postseason run. A glove-first second baseman, Jarrett is hitting .251 on the season and has started all 55 of NC State’s games.
After the Wolfpack’s victory against the Commodores on Monday, N.C. State baseball coach Elliott Avent said his team needed some rest because of a “bug” that was “floating around” the team.
“Coach Hart’s been sick for probably five or six days,” Avent said. “J.T. Jarrett caught the bug a couple of days ago. This bug seems to be going around.”
“I’ve got it a little bit. This bug seems to be floating around. And I think right now it’s important for our players to get some rest.”
Friday’s incident marks the first COVID-19 issue at the College World Series. Throughout the CWS, competing teams have not interacted off the field in any capacity. Media covering the CWS have conducted interviews on Zoom, while team practices have also been closed.
Games at the CWS, however, have been at full capacity with fans.
NC State is one of two undefeated teams remaining; Mississippi State is the other. To advance to the best of three College World Series final for the first time in program history, the Wolfpack need to win Friday or Saturday, if they lose Friday. Vanderbilt, a college baseball powerhouse, needs to win twice to eliminate NC State and advance to its fourth CWS final in the last seven seasons. The Commodores won the championship in 2014 and 2019, while finishing second in 2015.
This story will be updated.
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