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COVID Impacts N.C. State’s Run at a National Championship

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The North Carolina State Wolfpack baseball team had their 2021 season come to a close on Saturday morning due to positive COVID-19 test. 

Prior to the first semifinal game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and N.C. State on Friday, news broke that the game would be delayed due to health and safety protocols due to COVID by the NCAA. 

N.C. State had players test positive. An hour later both teams took the diamond and Vanderbilt won 3-1 to force a winner take all on Saturday. 

Two members of the team were not vaccinated, according to DIBaseball.com, and four members that tested positive had been vaccinated. 

According to the NCAA Sports Science Institute, all players on the roster then had to be tested. 

At the NCAA Championships, all individuals are put into tiers for health and safety protocols. 

  • Tier 1 individuals are those with the highest exposure (e.g., student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials). Physical distancing and masking may be compromised during practice and competition.
  • Tier 2 individuals (e.g., administrators, security, event staff and league staff) are considered at moderate risk to exposure. They may be in proximity to those in Tier 1 but can always maintain physical distancing and masking. They may have limited interaction with Tier 1 individuals only upon approval and assurance that all parties will be physically distanced and masked.
  • Tier 3 individuals (e.g., housekeeping, catering, sanitation, transportation, media and broadcast workers) make up the lowest tier of risk to exposure. They will have no interaction with people in Tier 1 or Tier 2.

Fully vaccinated student-athletes and other Tier 1 individual with no COVID-19-like symptoms may be exempt from routine testing. Student-athletes and other Tier 1 participants who are not vaccinated must continue to undergo testing at NCAA championships.

If there is evidence of substantial or high transmission in the community, or if there are COVID-19 variants that escape the effect of the vaccine, then testing may need to resume for fully vaccinated individuals. Such decisions will be made in conjunction with local public health authorities and/or federal guidance.

Early Saturday morning, the NCAA released a statement that announced the second game between Vanderbilt and N.C. State would be ruled a no-contest due to COVID-19 protocols. 

N.C. State finished their run with 37-19 overall record with only one loss in Omaha on Friday. The Wolfpack began the College World Series on a roll with a 2-0 start and one win shy of playing for the National Championship.

The Vanderbilt Commodores move on to the championship series and await the winner of Texas and Mississippi State.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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