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OMAHA, Neb. (GoPack.com) – Carlos Rodon pitched the fifth complete game of his career as NC State rolled to an 8-1 victory over top seeded North Carolina in both teams’ College World Series opener on Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Wolfpack (50-14) cemented its first 50-win season in program history with the win thanks to one run in the first, and four more in the third. The Pack extended that lead to 6-0 in the eighth and 8-0 in the ninth before the Tar Heels (57-11) scratched in the bottom of the ninth to set the final margin at 8-1.
Making its second appearance ever, and first since 1968, NC State improved to 3-2 all-time in CWS games. The Pack will be one of three teams with a perfect 6-0 record in the 2013 NCAA Tournament following the conclusion of Sunday night’s game between LSU and UCLA. State joins Indiana at 6-0. Either LSU or UCLA will be the third.
Rodon (10-2) became the first Wolfpack pitcher to reach double digit wins since Gib Hobson in 2006 with his complete game, five hit, one earned run, eight strikeout, and two walk performance. The sophomore went 4 2/3 innings without giving up a hit, tying the previous record in a CWS game at TD Ameritrade Park, set by Arizona’s Konner Wade vs. UCLA on June 17, 2012.
After walking the leadoff batter to start the game, Rodon retired 14 Tar Heels in a row with six strikeouts before surrendering UNC’s first base hit in the fifth inning. In five career appearances against UNC, Rodon has gone 41.1 IP, allowing four earned for a 0.85 ERA with 51 strikeouts (10.84 per nine innings).
Tarran Senay and Trea Turner each extended their hitting streaks to eight games, as Turner went 1-for-4 with a run, two walks, and a stolen base to improve to 28-for-34 on the year and 4-for-4 in the 2013 postseason. Senay provided the Pack’s first RBI of the contest, his 10th of the postseason.
Grant Clyde was hit-by-pitch three times, tying a CWS single-game record (Kurt Suzuki of Cal State Fullerton in 2003 and Taylor Holliday of UC Irvine in 2007) and setting the record in TD Ameritrade Park.
NC State’s defense did not commit an error for the third straight game. In the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Pack defense has been perfect in 61 of 62 innings. All three of the Wolfpack’s errors in the tournament came during the eighth inning against William & Mary in the clinching game of the Raleigh Regional.
The Wolfpack opened the scoring in the top of the first, started by Turner’s leadoff walk. Turner stole second with two down, allowing Senay to drive him in with a single to left for the game’s first run.
State extended that lead to 5-0 in the third, improving to a 67-29 scoring advantage against opponents in third innings this season. Austin started that rally with a one-out double to left center. Clyde pushed him across with a two-out RBI single to left, triggering a run of three-straight two-out hits for the Wolfpack. Williams followed with an RBI double down the left field line. Adametz added an RBI single threaded up the middle. Jake Armstrong walked next, allowing Logan Ratledge to contribute an RBI single to left field to close the rally.
Ratledge started another rally in the eighth with his second single to left, before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Turner walked behind him, and Jake Fincher moved both runners into scoring position with a sac bunt. Austin’s sac fly to left center made it 6-0 in favor of the Pack.
Clyde walked to lead off the ninth, and advanced to second on Williams’ single to right. Adametz reached on a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out. Armstrong hit into a fielder’s choice to score one and leave runners on the corners with one away. Ratledge grounded out to second for his second RBI of the contest to put the Pack ahead 8-0.
The Tar Heels scored in the ninth after Chaz Frank’s leadoff single to center. Landon Lassiter doubled to right center to push UNC’s lone run across.