Posted: 5:56 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2013
By Omega Wolf
Presbyterian struck first but N.C. State responded with 10 unanswered runs en route to a 13-3 win that gave Carlos Rodon his team-high sixth win of the season, gave the Pack a sweep, and gave the Pack Nine their 19th win in 20 tries.
For the Blue Hose (23-25), Brad Zebedis homered off Rodon in the first to put his team on top 2-0. The Wolfpack (37-11) erased the early deficit when a Blue Hose error opened the flood gates for four unearned runs in the bottom of the third. After the error loaded the bases for Tarran Senay, the Pack first baseman lifted a fly ball to right center that should have been the last out of the frame, but due to the earlier error it went for a sac fly that scored Trea Turner to bring the Pack to within a run. Then Grant Clyde walked to reload the bases, Brett Williams walked to force in a run, and Jake Armstrong singled in two more to thoroughly take advantage of the Presbyterian misplay.
Bud Jeter took the loss for the Blue Hose after allowing seven hits, five walks, and a hit batter in six innings. Even if only one of the five runs he allowed was earned, Jeter did not exactly fool anyone. He recorded just one strikeout, and his outing was reflective of a sloppy overall effort by the Blue Hose. Presbyterian pitchers walked 10, uncorked a couple of wild pitches, and the defense behind them made three errors and allowed a pair of passed balls.
Rodon settled down after the first inning, going seven strong with a 9-0 strikeout to walk ratio. His nine punch outs increased his nation-leading total to 114.
Armstrong and Jake Fincher both had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI for the Pack. Turner, Clyde, and Logan Ratledge, who raised his average to .216 with a three-hit afternoon, all scored twice.
Now things start to get serious for the Pack, who host UNC-Wilmington, a 34-14 team that has defeated #1 North Carolina this season, Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Doak Field. The Seahawks are ranked #27 in Warren Nolan's RPI rankings. N.C. State won the first meeting between the two, 10-6, on March 27th in Wilmington.
This coming weekend, the Pack host the Florida State Seminoles in a three-game set that could determine the Atlantic Division champion and which of the two teams will garner a national seed (thus hosting a regional and a super regional, if they get that far). The Noles are 16-8 in ACC play; the Pack are 15-8. The FSU series runs Saturday-Monday with the finale slated for broadcast on ESPNU.