Couldn’t Be Prouder of Coach Avent and Pack Nine

I hope you saw today’s game, because as opposed to yesterday’s sloppy snoozefest – this was sports drama at its very best. Lightning interrupted a pitcher’s duel, and Coach Avent made the classy, selfless choice and correctly pulled Carlos Rodon. You don’t play Russian Roulette with a left arm that will likely be the #1 overall pick if it stays healthy. Coach Avent showed his “players first” dedication when he firmly and flatly declared that he never even considered returning him to the mound.

Karma owed Avent a good turn, and on several occasions, it looked like he would get it. The Pack Nine came back from 4-0, 6-5, and 7-6 deficits, even ever-so-briefly taking a 5-4 lead. Sadly, the 9-7 10th inning deficit was one run too many, and a terrible third strike call ended NC State’s season.

That said, it’s hard to imagine being more pleased after a gut-wrenching postseason loss. The UConn game Hodge’s freshman year, and this March’s narrow loss to Kansas come to mind. Our Pack Nine battled their asses off, and represented NC State University in sterling fashion. With many key cogs coming back (several of said cogs were freshmen), we have every reason to expect Omaha in our near future. Hell, I might even manage to pay attention before May next season. 🙂

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.


54 Responses to Couldn’t Be Prouder of Coach Avent and Pack Nine

  1. wolfpackdawg 06/10/2012 at 8:38 PM #

    We just witnessed the zenith of Avent’s career. Embrace it.

  2. SaccoV 06/10/2012 at 8:47 PM #

    I agree with BJD that luck didn’t really help Avent today. He made the right move by sitting Rodon. He made the right move with his pitchers today. Just came up a run short. I’m very proud of the Baseball team, and its resilience. I think for next year, we should be looking at the following four goals: 1) Win the Atlantic Division; 2) Win the ACC Regular Season; 3) Win the ACC Tournament; 4) Get to Omaha.

  3. LRM 06/10/2012 at 9:00 PM #

    Tom Glavine never got that final pitch called a strike.

    But you have to guard the plate. That was a fun team to watch, they played their best with their backs against the wall. Feels like we got cheated by the rain delay.

  4. mak4dpak 06/10/2012 at 9:00 PM #

    Great game by the guys without Rodon after 3 innings, and came back time after time, and maybe one more was due our way, expect for the BS strike called on Diaz that ended the game. He should of kicked the umps a-s. He cost us the chance to play another day, and possibly a trip to Omaha. Go Wolfpack! We can all look forward to another great team next year, and who knows what could happen.

  5. BJD95 06/10/2012 at 9:13 PM #

    The pitch that killed me was the 2nd strike. The Gator reliever hung an awful slider…and Diaz swung right through it. Still, he totally deserved another shot.

  6. Wufpacker 06/10/2012 at 9:32 PM #

    “We just witnessed the zenith of Avent’s career. Embrace it.”

    Why do that right now?

  7. elvislives 06/10/2012 at 9:55 PM #

    I hope this year’s team made some college baseball fans out of the Wolfpack faithful. They were an incredibly fun group to watch. There is plenty of room on the Wolfpack baseball bandwagon, feel free to jump on board. The bar has been set for next year’s team.

    I agree with Sacco, division win and ACC championship should be the goals. Take care of business and the road to Omaha comes through Raleigh in 2013. Thanks for a great season Pack, nothing to hang your heads about. Florida knows they dodged a bullet and you gave them all they could handle.

  8. ryebread 06/10/2012 at 10:28 PM #

    If I were the parent of a stud high school pitcher considering going to college, I’d take notice of what Avent did today. He put the kid’s long term health ahead of his own personal gain. That’s the kind of coach I’d want my kid playing for.

    Tough luck this weekend for the Pack. The weather and some unfriendly bounces really hurt us.

    I’m proud of the team though. This was far better than anyone could have hoped for before the year started.

  9. tuckerdorm1983 06/10/2012 at 10:33 PM #

    IT WAS A BALL!!!!

  10. JaxPackMan 06/10/2012 at 11:20 PM #

    My wife and I were at today’s game with our son (a UF grad). As crazy as The Gator Nation is about their athletic teams we witnessed about the most baseball ignorant crowd I believe I’ve ever scene. Any time an opposing coach comes out of the dugout to the mound or to home plate he is booed and heckled as if it is against the rules to do so. Some of it is yelling just to yell, but honestly most of it was yelling out of ignorance. Any pitcher movement on the mound not toward home plate is automatically thought to be a balk. 95% of the crowd couldn’t explain a balk if it got them a free trip to Omaha for the CWS. Even the Gator radio homer announcer in post game comments couldn’t bring himself to compliment Rodon for the his great pitching early in the game. Clearly, he had his good stuff and had the rain held off the outcome might have been different.

    Florida probably has the stronger team, excellent pitchers and fielders, who play basically error free. I never saw a player out of position which is a credit to coaching and instructing them on where to be for each batter. State has nothing to be ashamed of. They played their hearts out and may have over achieved at certain positions.

    Too bad State had to play #1 UF in the Super Reg. The way State played Florida, they would have beaten many other teams in the tournament. The team has to be really down right now after playing so hard and coming up just a little bit short today. What a way to lose. I don’t know what Avent’s goals were for the season, but hopefully they can look back and feel good about the successes they have had this year.

    Go Pack!

    Phillip McDowell
    NC State, Class of ’76

  11. Tuffy2 06/10/2012 at 11:49 PM #

    JaxPackMan I agree with and there was this girl I could here on the TV when Avent was making some changes kept yelling the words “Come on” constantly. If I was her husband or boyfriend I would tell her to shut up and sit down.

    To me just the way the fans reacted to beating us one would think we were the number 1 team that they just upset. I know sports are all about emotion but I thought this was over the top.

    Great year and I can’t wait for football to get here.

  12. Tuffy2 06/10/2012 at 11:49 PM #

    JaxPackMan I agree with and there was this girl I could here on the TV when Avent was making some changes kept yelling the words “Come on” constantly. If I was her husband or boyfriend I would tell her to shut up and sit down.

    To me just the way the fans reacted to beating us one would think we were the number 1 team that they just upset. I know sports are all about emotion but I thought this was over the top.

    Great year and I can’t wait for football to get here.

  13. TheCOWDOG 06/11/2012 at 7:39 AM #

    The deck was stacked, house odds, NCAA, and mother nature.

    Had that delay been in the range of an hour, I would have been furious if Rodon did not retake the mound.

    But…alas, it just couldn’t be. Note the ineffectiveness in Graham when he went back to the hill.

    As BJD tomed, I too, couldn’t be happier in a loss.

  14. wilmwolf80 06/11/2012 at 8:16 AM #

    There were many things that ruffled my feathers in this series, and this game in particular. One being the fans. They just seemed to be boorish and all around ignorant of the game. I get so tired of the crowd booing pick off moves, etc. It is how the game is played, get over it. They also rode the umps as hard as any crowd as I have seen in a while. I also thought that some of the reactions of the Florida players were a bit over the top. The pitcher running to the dugout celebrating the strike out before the pitch had even crossed the plate comes to mind. All in all, it was a valiant effort for our boys. I thought we were just a bad break or two away from evening the series. The last pitch certainly was a bad call, but that didn’t lose the game for us.

  15. coach13 06/11/2012 at 8:30 AM #

    There’s a reason they no longer give you the plate overhead view of pitches. Umpires bitched so you don’t see it anymore. The last called strike was well off the corner as were many he was giving that guy. THAT SAID, he was consistent with it. You have to be ALL OVER the plate if he’s going to call that pitch otherwise you will be hard pressed to hit it. I thought the first called strike was even worse than the last.

    I coach alot of baseball and I like an umpire with a wide zone. There’s having a wide strikezone and then there’s giving the pitcher a big advantage of pitches near impossibe to hit fair as they do not nearly cross the strikezone.

  16. Texpack 06/11/2012 at 9:32 AM #

    As I told my wife while walking to the kitchen during the late innings, “State’s not going down without a fight.” With the freshman core on the team, we have a chance to have a few really good years.

    The killer play for me today was the snow cone catch in the eighth or ninth that Fincher just couldn’t hang on to. The kid made one heck of an effort to get to the ball. If he hangs on, who knows.

  17. old13 06/11/2012 at 9:39 AM #

    This team has been very exciting and fun to watch. They certainly exemplify “Team” and “Don’t Ever Give Up” very well. It will be very interesting to see how far they can go next season!

    As an aside, would someone knowledgeable please summarize the strength of our incoming freshman class now that the MLB draft and signing has essentially completed.

  18. tjfoose1 06/11/2012 at 10:01 AM #

    Florida fans have a reputation for a reason. For those not familiar with it, think of unx arrogance combined with the worst parts of ecu/SoCar type obnoxiousness.

  19. St8Fan 06/11/2012 at 10:08 AM #

    Saw the called third strike, and while I KNOW it was off the plate, and Diaz had every right to complain, the thing that upset the most was the UMPIRE’s reaction. He made a Leslie Nielson type display for the punch out, then took his mask off as if he was welcoming the confrontation.

    Blue, make the call and leave…it was almost as bad as some of the basketball officials we all could name!

  20. Alpha Wolf 06/11/2012 at 10:14 AM #

    That umpire’s strike zone was bigger than Eric Gregg, just saying.

    And I for one am sick and tired of umps almost begging for an argument. Clue, Mr. Umpire: you shouldn’t be part of the drama.

  21. wilmwolf80 06/11/2012 at 10:27 AM #

    Also, some have expressed displeasure in the reaction of Diaz after the final call. While I personally think he should have handled the at bat a little better, I have no qualms with his reaction to the call. It was a bad call, and as others have stated, the ump knew it and came up ready for an argument. That’s bushleague in my book, and I give Diaz props for standing up to him.

  22. Ed89 06/11/2012 at 10:28 AM #

    ^^I thought the first called strike was even worse than the last.

    Actually, I rewatched it several times. The first strike call was only 2-3 inches off the plate. The last strike call was at least 6″ outside. It was clearly outside, and the ump should be reprimanded. Whether intentional or not, it was an AWFUL called third strike on an 0-2 count.

  23. Ed89 06/11/2012 at 10:30 AM #

    ^^That’s bushleague in my book, and I give Diaz props for standing up to him.

    Ditto. I agree completely. He probably should have given the ump a little stare after strike one. Of 3 strikes, he got screwed twice.

  24. Lunatic Fringe 06/11/2012 at 10:51 AM #

    The announcers were covering game left a lot to be desired, but I do agree with this team having similarities to UF several years ago. I am disappointed, but UF is a freaking AA team.

    I love how this team shrugs off adversity and I think that we really positioned outself well for next year.

    One note – Kudos to Wilkins for pitching a hell of a game. He has been REALLY good the last couple weeks and I am glad we have someone who can fill that role next year.

  25. vtpackfan 06/11/2012 at 11:15 AM #

    Agee 100% with the sentiment of this post.

    Next year will be like no other in my lifetime as a Wolfpack follower in that Avent will have the team to beat and not s dark horse contender. No doubt FSU, and UNC will reload, but they’re losing some major pieces. We’re returning nearly everything to go with the best starting hoss to take the weekend rubber.

    Early projected lineup:

    6 Turner
    5 Ratledge
    3 Canela
    2 Austin
    8 Fincher
    4 Bergquist
    DH Senay
    7 Williams/ or Freshmen
    9 Adamitz



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