‘Special Rodon leads Pack past Heels’

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It was a huge night at Doak field on Saturday as the #6 ranked NC State Wolfpack handed the #1 ranked UNC Tar heels only their 4th loss of the season by a 7-3 count. The announced attendance of more than 3,100+ set a Doak Field record.


Carlos Rodon’s 115th pitch of the night was his biggest as he strikes out heels’ pinch hitter Tom Zengel to end the carolina bases loaded threat and record his 10th K of the game.

From Baseball America:

With a dominant performance from ace lefthander Carlos Rodon and at least one hit from every player in the lineup, No. 6 North Carolina State set up a crucial rubber game on Sunday against No. 1 North Carolina. The Wolfpack won 7-3 on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd.

“We didn’t play bad last night, but we played really well tonight,” North Carolina State head coach Elliot Avent said.

Rodon was amped for the big game, sitting in the 90-94 mph range with his fastball and reaching back for 96 a couple times against North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran. Rodon scattered seven hits and gave up two earned runs (due to a Cody Stubbs home run given up by reliever Grant Sasser after Rodon left the game). Rodon walked four and struck out 10.

“Carlos Rodon was very, very special tonight,” Avent said. “He didn’t pitch as well as he did last weekend at Georgia Tech, but he pitched very, very well and he kept a great lineup at bay.”

North Carolina matched N.C. State with 12 hits in the game, but just couldn’t scratch out runs outside of the Stubbs home run. The key play of the game came in the top of the fourth inning. Down 1-0 with Moran on second and Stubbs on first with two outs, second baseman Mike Zolk hit a single to center field. NC State center fielder Brett Williams fielded the ball cleanly and fired a strike to the plate to nail Moran, who collided awkwardly with catcher Brett Austin instead of sliding (video here).

“When it happened, I was so proud of Brett Austin,” Avent said. “First of all, that guy’s caught so much this year. He has caught so many games—a lot of double headers—and he’s just been so good defensively all year long.

“I’ve seen a lot of good plays at N.C. State, but I thought when that happened, I thought back to another play, and I said, ‘I don’t know if that’s the best play I’ve ever seen here at NC State, but it would tie the best play,’ and that one happened with a play at the plate, also. It was a big play for us, and if you want something bad enough, you can almost will yourself to do it, and that’s what happened. I’m very proud of him.”

The Wolfpack went on to score three in the fourth and three in the fifth to break things open and seal the victory.

“This series prepares you for that weekend when you’re playing in a regional and playing for a chance to go to Omaha,” Avent said. “To beat the number one team in the country two-out-of-three would be great and to beat Carolina two-out-of-three would be great.”

Before State blew the game open with a 7-0 lead, the Tar heels were were threatening in the fourth inning when this happened:

The Wolfpack is currently tied with Florida State atop the ACC’s Atlantic Division with 15-8 ACC records.

Tonight’s rubber match will be televised on ESPNU at 7pm.

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28 Responses to ‘Special Rodon leads Pack past Heels’

  1. TheCOWDOG 04/28/2013 at 11:56 AM #

    Yep. That’s how catchers wind up on the DL. Moran was very kind. Tip o’ the cap to Moran and Austin.

  2. Wufpacker 04/28/2013 at 12:02 PM #

    Heckuva play by Austin to field it and hold on knowing the collision was coming.

    Heckuva throw by Williams too. If that ball tails 1 ft further up the line or skips on the mound, the run scores and the complexion of the game changes…and not for the better.

  3. Wufpacker 04/28/2013 at 12:30 PM #

    Orwig deserves some major props as well. He was Steady Eddie last night too.

  4. DC_wolf 04/28/2013 at 1:02 PM #

    Was awesome watching the match-up of Rodon vs. Moran – had a real “Major Leagues” feel to it; right there in Doak field. You could tell Rodon was yoked up for it as well: hitting the high 90′s on those occaisions.

    Well you couldn’t ask for anything more: 2 well-played games split between both teams setting up the decider tonight in prime time; & against bitter rivals no less. Here’s hoping the rubber game goes to the Pack over the rubbers from Tar Holeia.

  5. mak4dpak 04/28/2013 at 1:36 PM #

    Finally decided this was my first college game to see, so made it from Fayetteville, with a friend, and found out it was a sellout. But with persistance and a scalper mark up, we made it, and loved every minute. Always a great day when we beat the holes. Go Pack! If it doesnt’ rain out, I will be tuning into ESPNU tonight at 7 for the series clincher. Forgot to say the out at homeplate by Austin was incredible, and the video proves it. Way to go Pack!

  6. BJD95 04/28/2013 at 2:06 PM #

    OK, so who among the authorship has enough mojo/cajones to run a LiveBlog tonight? With all of us watching for a change.

  7. TheCOWDOG 04/28/2013 at 2:37 PM #

    Uh…Wuf is the club car guy. Modern day Mel Allen.
    White Owl cigars and Ballentine beer, baby.

  8. Wufpacker 04/28/2013 at 2:51 PM #

    Yeah OK…with the time difference I should be good to go I guess. Not sure I have any mojo to offer however, and Mel Allen is rolling over in his grave right about now I’m sure.

    Also, it’s gonna be backwoods smokes and PBR’s here, LOL.

    No natty boh’s available in the desert southwest :D

    EDIT – Not sure mother nature is gonna abide.

  9. Pack78 04/28/2013 at 3:50 PM #

    ^Was up near West Jefferson this AM, now home near CLT…raining to beat the band both locales-don’t see how we can play in Raleighwood tonite.

  10. john of sparta 04/28/2013 at 4:56 PM #

    “win some, lose some, and some are rained out.”
    it’s a shame.
    doesn’t look good
    for Monday, either.

  11. BJD95 04/28/2013 at 5:01 PM #

    Looks like this series is destined to stay 1-1 until the ACCT. I can handle that, though sucks ass that the televised game bites the dust.

    Two great teams. Nice to see a Pack squad with expectations…gasp…live up to them.

  12. tjfoose1 04/28/2013 at 6:06 PM #

    BJD,

    From Twitter at 5:58pm

    NC State Baseball ‏@NCStateBaseball
    Game three of #Pack9-UNC still scheduled for 7 p.m. start on ESPNU. Any further updates will be posted as soon as we get them.

  13. BJD95 04/28/2013 at 6:14 PM #

    Wow, hard to believe given how much rain we’ve had in Apex (and the forecast). Fingers crossed!

  14. Wufpacker 04/28/2013 at 6:52 PM #

    Twitter just updated…

    NC State Baseball ‏@NCStateBaseball 2m

    We are delayed from our original start time of 7 p.m. Officials are discussing length of delay now. Any updates will be passed along.

  15. BJD95 04/28/2013 at 6:56 PM #

    The percentage chance of rain goes down from 100 to 90 at 1 am. Dudes, we either play in this level of rain, or see what tomorrow brings.

  16. Wufpacker 04/28/2013 at 6:58 PM #

    ESPNU claiming 7:15 start…we’ll see I guess.

  17. Wufpacker 04/28/2013 at 6:59 PM #

    Pack Pride just tweeted postponed.

    Not sure who knows (if anyone) what’s actually going ot happen.

    EDIT – ESPNU confirms…postponed. No make up.

  18. BJD95 04/28/2013 at 7:02 PM #

    ESPNU just announced the game and series are kaput. It will stay a split like my gut first said.

    This will mark my one time to be right for 2013. Gonna bask for awhile.

  19. tjfoose1 04/28/2013 at 7:03 PM #

    Yep. Forgive me for doubting.

  20. Wufpacker 04/28/2013 at 7:07 PM #

    And of course the ESPNU talking heads have to go and take a slight swipe at the Pack.

    According to them we just got lucky since we were starting a freshman vs the “mighty heels” tonight.

  21. BJD95 04/28/2013 at 7:13 PM #

    These are very even teams, in my view.

    I figured 2 of 3 this weekend pretty well cinches a Super hosting. What do we need now? 4 of last 6 ACC contests sufficient as long as we don’t suck in conference tourney? 5 of 6 and clear no matter what?

  22. john of sparta 04/28/2013 at 7:17 PM #

    rain in Detroit, too.
    no Pack no Braves.

  23. 13OT 04/28/2013 at 8:11 PM #

    UNC and State should meet on a home-and-home basis 6 times each season, not twice in the entire season. They each play about 50 frigging games in a season, but the teams their fans want to see them play, they don’t play.

    Hell, I’d rather play Pitt, Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame on the diamond anyday, but first let’s play Boston College.

    Damn what the ACC has become.

  24. Gowolves 04/28/2013 at 8:40 PM #

    What I want to know is why wasn’t this game moved up. I have seen them do it before. The forecast has been for late rain on Sunday for three days. They could have started at 1. I am sure the tv contract screwed the chance to do that.

  25. NCSU84 04/28/2013 at 10:36 PM #

    I suspect television scheduling (ESPNU) prevented the game from being moved up.

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