WRAL: NC State pitcher Carlos Rodon was named USA Baseball’s Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Tuesday, joining the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman. The award is given annually to USA Baseball’s top player while honoring the memory of the organization’s founding executive director and CEO. Rodon, a Holly Springs native, […]
In the fourth meeting of the year on the diamond between two top ten triangle teams, a game which had been hyped quite a bit even by the national media types leading up to it, the NC State Wolfpack (50-14) held up its end of the bargain quite nicely.
The North Carolina Tar Heels (57-11)?Â Not so much.
Carlos Rodon (10-2) obviously remembered his Superman cape when he packed for Omaha as the sophomore Wolfpack lefty would save one of his best performances for the big stage.
Rodon would go the distance on this day vs the Heels, yielding only a single run while scattering five hits, most of which came long after the issue had already been all but decided by the Pack’s offense.Â He also struck out 8 Tar Heels while walking but 2.Â Incidentally, Carlos needed only 108 pitches to put the Heels away on this day, a very economical complete game outing for him.
And as nice as it was to see Rodon’s gem, one can’t say that it was unexpected.Â No, the better news of the day had to be that the Pack’s offense would also show up on Sunday in Omaha.Â Big time.
Facing ACC Pitcher of the Year (and All-American, and recent MLB Draftee, etc. etc.) Kent Emanuel, the Wolfpack hitters showed no signs of being in awe of Omaha or the Heels’ Emanuel.
Nor did they show the Carolina lefty any mercy.
The Pack would jump on Emanuel early, plating one run in the 1st inning when a leadoff walk to Trea Turner coupled with his 28th stolen base of the year and a Tarran Senay 2 out RBI single would give the Pack first blood.
Then in the 3rd inning the Pack’s hitters broke the game open.Â Six wolves would reach base in the inning (5 hits, 1 walk) with four coming around to score, giving the Pack and Rodon a 5 run cushion and chasing Emanuel from the bump.Â It was more than needed.Â The Pack would add a single run in the 8th, and two more in the 9th to build an 8-0 advantage before the Heels would break thru for a single run in their half of the 9th for the final 8-1 margin.
And perhaps best of all on this day?Â It was the lower part of the Wolfpack batting order that came through on the big stage.
Logan Ratledge knocked in 2 runs and scored another on a 2 for 5 effort, while Brett Williams (2 for 4, RBI, double, 2 runs) and Bryan Adametz (2 for 4, RBI, run, HBP) would also both enjoy productive outings.Â Catcher Brett Austin (1 for 3, RBI, double) would find a way out of his recent slump, and thirdbaseman Grant Clyde (1 for 1, RBI, run, BB, HBPx3) would reach base safely all five times he appeared at the plate.
The win was the Pack’s 50th of the season, a Wolfpack Baseball first.
The Pack’s defense was error-free for the 3rd straight contest.
Rodon’s Gem Lifts Pack Past UNC in CWS Opener, 8-1 (GoPack.com)
Wolfpack, Carlos Rodon dominate UNC Tar Heels, 8-1, in CWS opener (CharlotteObserver.com)
OMAHA, Neb. Elliott Avent went around shaking hands with anyone whoâ€™d reciprocate. He offered to buy reporters the finest Omaha steaks in a town known for them. He spoke about Carlos Rodon with emotion, like he was a son.
It was Fatherâ€™s Day on Sunday, and Avent, the N.C. State coach, acted like a proud papa in the moments after his teamâ€™s 8-1 victory against North Carolina in the College World Series. Avent had waited his whole life for this, his first game coaching in Omaha on college baseballâ€™s grandest stage.
Rodon, the Wolfpackâ€™s ace left-hander, pitched a complete game. The sophomore allowed five hits, one run, struck out eight and then acted afterward like it was no big deal. Asked why he has a penchant for pitching his best when the stakes are at their highest, Rodon provided a simple explanation.
â€œYou know, this is the College World Series,â€ he said. â€œIt doesnâ€™t get any better than this, so why not bring your â€˜Aâ€™ game? â€¦
â€œWhen I come out, Iâ€™m going to compete. And stages like this, Iâ€™m going to compete even more â€“ give it more than I can.â€
The victory puts N.C. State in the winnersâ€™ bracket in its four-team, double-elimination pool in the College World Series. The Wolfpack (50-14) will play Tuesday night against UCLA, which beat No.4 national seed Louisiana State 2-1.
Rodon, N.C. State handcuff North Carolina in CWS (USAToday.com)
PHOTOS: N.C. State – UNC 06.16.13 (CharlotteObserver.com)
The Pack now moves into the winner’s bracket of the CWS and will face the UCLA Bruins (45-17) at 8pm on Tuesday evening.Â UCLA managed to outlast LSU on Sunday evening, taking advantage of Tiger miscues while notching the victory by a score of 2-1.
The Tigers and the Tar Heels, two of the favorites heading to Omaha, are both now relegated to the loser’s bracket game on Tuesday (3pm) with the loser of that game making an early exit from Omaha.
Who’dda thunk it?
Next Up….Bear Meat!!!!