Wolfpack Baseball’s season ends in Omaha.

BlockSHomePlateWolfpack Baseball’s 2013 season came to an inauspicious end last night when the Pack fell for the second straight game in Omaha, this time to a familiar foe.  Carolina breaks a close game open with four runs in 8th inning and ends up shutting the Pack out 7-0.  Incidentally, it was the first time this season that the Pack was blanked on the scoreboard.

State finishes the season with a 50-16 record, finishing with 50 wins for the first time in program history.

The Heels move on and will now have to top UCLA twice (Friday and Saturday) to move on to the national championship series.

In the other bracket, it’s Oregon State faced with the task of winning two straight vs Mississippi State.

For anyone who cares, Oregon State/Miss. State is at 3pm today, and Carolina/UCLA is the 8pm nightcap, both on ESPN.  Both of Saturday’s games are an “if necessary” of course.

I suppose it’s likely, though unfortunate, that most folks will remember this season as one of disappointments (if they remember it at all after a few weeks).  And while I understand that this academic year was fraught with disappointment when it comes to NC State Athletics (expectations not met in football or basketball) and thus it’s very easy to feel that way, this Wolfpack Baseball team not only didn’t underachieve, but made great strides for the program which very well could pay dividends on the recruiting trail.

Most of all, this team doesn’t deserve to be thought of as a disappointment.

The argument of course will be “No Banners”.  Well, that and the fact that it was Carolina that halted the Pack’s path to two of those banners.

The Pack fell a half game short of the ACC’s Atlantic Division pennant to FSU.  They then fell in 18 innings to Carolina in the nail biter in Durham to end hopes for the ACC Championship.

And then last night, with their backs to the wall, it was Carolina again to end the Pack’s season and their hopes of a CWS title.

So yeah, I get the disappointment, trust me.  I hate losing and I especially hate losing to them.  Losing to them in a meaningful game (such as the last two losses to them have been) really bugs the living chit out of me quite frankly, and no I’m not yet over that disappointment and it’ll take a while.

But none of that should take away from what the Pack9 did accomplish this season.

First ever 50 win season.

19 regular season conference wins ties program best.

First CWS berth since ’68.

Top ten finish.

This team achieved pretty much exactly what was expected of them, and that’s despite an early season slide when Trea Turner went down with injury.  That’s despite a starting pitching rotation that was piecemeal for much of the year.  That’s despite sporting a record of 16-9 (3-6 ACC) on March 24th after getting swept by UVa in Charlottesville without Turner.

In the meat grinder that is the ACC, then in the ACC Tournament (which might as well be called Omaha east), and then including the NCAA Tournament and CWS, this Wolfpack squad lost a whopping total of 7 games over the last three months of the season, finishing the season going 34-7.

Especially considering the competition levels faced over that stretch, I’d say that’s not half bad.

Looking forward, State will still have the nucleus of a pretty good club together for 2014.  Rodon and Turner are back of course.  As are Jake Fincher, Brett Austin, Jake Armstrong and Logan Ratledge to name but a few.

As is always the case in college athletics however, the Pack will have to fill some holes.  Gone will be Tarran Senay, Brett Williams, Bryan Adametz, Grant Clyde and Matt Bergquist.

Perhaps the biggest losses will come to the pitching staff.  Starter Ethan Ogburn is a senior of course, but it’s the Pack’s bullpen that will take the biggest hit.  Gone will be Chris Overman, Josh Easley, Ryan Wilkins, Grant Sasser and Danny Healey.

Some younger arms will need to step up to be sure.

Some Links

Curtain Closes on Pack’s First CWS Run Since 1968 (GoPack.com)

Box Score

Post Game Presser Transcript

North Carolina ousts rival N.C. State in Omaha (MLB.com)

Johnson, McCue combine to help North Carolina cruise past NC State (NCAA.com)

No regrets for eliminated Wolfpack (NCAA.com)

The decision to start Rodon did not surprise UNC.

“It’s hard when you’re in elimination game to not put [Rodon] out there,” North Carolina head coach Mike Fox said. “I get the rest and all that, 108 pitches [on Sunday], strong as a bull. I know it was a tough decision for [Avent] and his staff. You don’t want any regrets leaving here and I think they probably would have had some if they hadn’t pitched him.”

Rodon seemingly had the Tar Heels’ number, so on three days’ rest he again was called on to face North Carolina with the season on the line in Game 10. For UNC, the mentality was “it is what it is.” Thursday was a different day and the Tar Heels had a different outcome in mind.

Nonetheless, Rodon cruised through the first three innings, striking out six and continuing to thwart North Carolina by stranding runners in scoring position in the first and third frames.

Then came the fateful fourth inning, which was jumpstarted by UNC’s Colin Moran, who stroked an 0-1 pitch for a single to center field. Holberton’s sacrifice bunt was fielded by Rodon, who wheeled to try to nab Moran at second base — maybe even start a double play — but the throw skipped past the bag and both runners were safe. Rodon then walked Cody Stubbs.

“Those things happen,” Rodon said. “Just a bunt — pretty easy double play. That happens to any baseball player.”

UNC eliminates NC State at College World Series (SI.com)

CWS: UNC Tar Heels send N.C. State Wolfpack packing, 7-0 (CharlotteObserver.com)

PHOTOS: UNC 7, N.C. State 0 | 06.20.13  (CharlotteObserver.com)

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So that pretty much closes the book on the 2013 edition of Wolfpack Baseball.  A very good season IMHO despite the disappointments it also brought.

But that’s baseball.  And as always….

Oh, and….

Go Bruins!!!!

(I really dislike UCLA thus it is very difficult to say that.  That alone should tell you something Caulton)

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About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

Baseball Big Four Rivals

47 Responses to Wolfpack Baseball’s season ends in Omaha.

  1. Semper_WolfPack 06/21/2013 at 7:29 AM #

    Wuf, thank you for the great previews and insight this baseball season! I’m sure all of us are disappointed in the way it ended, but like you said, this team accomplished some really great things for the program. I, for one, will not hang my head about this season. However, I will gladly flip off all UNX acquaintances (don’t even want to call them friends right now) for the next few days and openly cheer for UCLA. Pack9, thank you for a great season! GO PACK!!

  2. graywolf 06/21/2013 at 7:50 AM #

    GO BRIUNS!

  3. TheCOWDOG 06/21/2013 at 8:02 AM #

    I have a hangover.

    BTW…To 95% of you that hitched a ride for this post season run …you handled yourselves with dignity and aplomb. It was great to be aboard.

  4. Pack78 06/21/2013 at 8:19 AM #

    Great year and great insight provided by a number of posters on this board…already looking forward to next year’s preseason analyses.

  5. FergusWolf 06/21/2013 at 8:34 AM #

    I want to say how proud I am of the Pack9. They had a great year. Sure they had their struggles and didn’t come out with the national championship, but they validated their early season top 10 ranking, and gave everything they had along the way.

    I’m looking forward to next season, we are going to miss the seniors, but the rest of the team with another full season under their belt should be setup for another good year.

    Enjoy!

  6. NCSU84 06/21/2013 at 8:35 AM #

    After the 5th game with the team to the west, all I could think of was the word nemesis. I decided to look up the explicit definition:

    Nemesis – A formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent.

    Yeah, that about sums it up.

  7. theghost 06/21/2013 at 8:36 AM #

    SERENITY NOW!

  8. Icabod61 06/21/2013 at 8:55 AM #

    It’s always bitter to not win against “them”. but the loss doesn’t send my blood boiling nearly as much as the other news about “them” this morning….
    “UNC will be monitored, not sanctioned, by accrediting agency”. WTF???!!!!

  9. JohnGalt78 06/21/2013 at 8:56 AM #

    GREAT SEASON BOYS!

    Yeah, Carlton, unite with this, bit€h.

    Meanwhile, back at the flagship….Irony of ironies….Cheats fix their cheating problem by….yes, really, not kidding, HANDING out Free do-over classes. Get the latest in the NO. I’m sure will be a run set up here.

  10. wolf8895 06/21/2013 at 8:58 AM #
  11. Wulfpack 06/21/2013 at 9:02 AM #

    Not a disappointment at all. Great season for the boys. They were a lot of fun to watch. Hope they can get back and do even more damage next year.

  12. Gowolves 06/21/2013 at 9:24 AM #

    I’m glad CD gives us permission to pull for the Pack.

    Anyway… Disappointed on the ending but couldn’t be more proud of this team. They played with a lot of heart and never gave up. For the seniors good luck in your future endeavors. For the rest of you, next season will be here before you know it.

  13. WolfTrack 06/21/2013 at 9:31 AM #

    Tough way to end, but man what a fun ride it was!

    I’ve never been a big baseball guy (ever since my attrocious batting average kept me off the high school team) but I’ve really enjoyed watching the pack these last few seasons. Congrats to the boys on a fantastic season and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for those returning.

    Finally a huge thank you – especially to Wuf – but also all the other posters on here who have taught me a hell of a lot about the college game, I really appreciate this site and all you guys do.

  14. Wufpacker 06/21/2013 at 9:36 AM #

    “I’m glad CD gives us permission to pull for the Pack.”

    Oh, let’s not poke the bear please, especially when he’s sporting a crudo to be proud of. :D

    Besides, it took me some recent wheelin’ and dealin’ that even Ari Gold would be proud of to keep the ‘Dog in the fold. Since I don’t have a firstborn to offer, I’m out of options there.

  15. ryebread 06/21/2013 at 9:42 AM #

    I’ll admit that our CWS after the initial Carolina win was disappointing. I was afraid we’d jumped the shark then, and we had.

    Our season though was far from a disappointment. The program did something that it hadn’t in a long, long time. That was our goal for the season and we achieved it despite overcoming some adversity along the way. I’d rather be in Omaha than win an ACC Tournament championship.

    I personally think getting to Omaha is a huge mental hurdle to overcome. Unlike the Final Four, teams don’t come to Omaha and win the whole thing in year one. They come 2 – 6 times before they ever break through. The format is just tougher.

    Most importantly, the key components are back one more year. I fully believe our goal next year should be to get to Omaha again. We may still not go home with any banners along the way, but if we put ourselves in two straight CWS, then we’ll be where we want as a program.

  16. CaptainCraptacular 06/21/2013 at 10:16 AM #

    My only disappointment is that Turners crushed shot against UCLA didn’t make it out or at least hit off the wall. I replayed that in my head quite a few times late Tuesday/Wednesday. That game was there for the taking and Turner really deserved a hit there as well as he hit it.

    Great season regardless. On to next year. Will be rooting hard for another Omaha trip.

  17. wufpup76 06/21/2013 at 10:42 AM #

    Great season guys – way to go.

    Should be proud.

  18. 4in12 06/21/2013 at 11:18 AM #

    That was fun. Let’s do it again next year.

  19. rtpack24 06/21/2013 at 11:23 AM #

    I agree they had a great year. Came up a little short in two big games, UNC ACC Title game and the UCLA game. They were a tough bunch that always played hard and never gave up. When you look where our baseball program is and the rest of the landscape of our athletic dept. we have grown leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. The future looks bright!

  20. ncsu1987 06/21/2013 at 11:37 AM #

    A fantastic season and a post-season run that was a joy to be a part of. Proud of the team and the way they handled themselves.

    CD: I’m part of the 95%. Thank you for the compliment, in the spirit in which it was intended. And thanks for your continuing contributions – I, too, know how tenuous that has been for some time.

    I, for one, appreciate the benefit of your experience and insight.

  21. LRM 06/21/2013 at 11:50 AM #

    It’s ok to be disappointed with the outcome of how the season ended without being disappointed in the success of the season. We won a game in the CWS, that’s pretty cool.

  22. burnbarn 06/21/2013 at 12:13 PM #

    I think we witnessed what happens to a team that hasn’t been there before. It was clear UNC had.

    Very nice season and hope the next is as exciting.

  23. Gowolves 06/21/2013 at 12:13 PM #

    A big thanks for Wufpacker for keeping the fans in tune with this fun ride. It didn’t end like we wanted to but following the team here with all the news stories and neat insights made much more entertaining. Thanks for all the hard work.

    So you are moving back to NC? What part of the state?

  24. coach13 06/21/2013 at 12:19 PM #

    Hell of a season. Proud of those guys. Only folks showing no respect are the Walmart UNX fans. F’em.

    We have alot to look foward to. We will be good next year. GO PACK!!!!!!!

  25. MP 06/21/2013 at 12:44 PM #

    Maybe the “percentage of the day” should be 80%. From a look down the front page, 8 of 10 posts were by Wufpacker, all providing quality. The other 2 were garbage.

    Thank you for keeping us all posted Wufpacker. It has been fun getting reconnected to NC State baseball this year (and last). It’s hard to really know the team when you don’t live in Raleigh, and the last few weeks helped me get to know the team. Reminds me of the “good ol days” going to games when living at Lee Dorm and afterwards when living near campus.

    Congrats to the team! It was an excellent season.

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