COVID-19 protocols have impacted the 2021 College World Series at a most inopportune time. Game 11 between North Carolina State and Vanderbilt was delayed one hour due to protocol issues within the NC State program. Wolfpack players were pulled off the field during pregame warmups. Second baseman J.T. Jarrett and relief pitcher Evan Justice did not make it to the ballpark and many other players were deemed ineligible before first pitch. The end result is just nine position players and four pitchers available, 13 players in all. The six through nine positions in the batting order contain all of 27 at bats worth of experience and several players will play out of position, including a pitcher playing first base. By winning its first time games NC State had found itself in the winners bracket, needing one win over the next two days over Vanderbilt - who has starting pitchers Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter available, to advance to next weeks championship series. No word on when the Wolfpack may have more players available. Up to this point the 2021 NCAA baseball tournament had been played without any pandemic hiccups.
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