N.C. State nips William and Mary 1-0, Tribe in losers' bracket | Raleigh Regional


RALEIGH – William & Mary’s baseball team avoided Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl in Friday’s NCAA Raleigh Regional opener, but the Tribe had no such luck with an even higher profile college pitcher, North Carolina State ace Carlos Rodon.

Rodon tossed a perfect game through four innings and a no-hitter through five to lead the Wolfpack to a 1-0 win over the Tribe Saturday evening in front of a sea of red with 3,000 filling N.C. State’s Doak Field.

The sophomore left-hander has been projected as high as the first pick of the 2014 draft. Wahl is merely a possible first-round choice in next week’s Major League Baseball draft. Rodon threw a complete-game two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks. He’s had double-digit strikeouts in four of his last six contests.

“That was a great college baseball game,” William & Mary coach Jamie Pinzino said. “I told my players that’s what you expect from a regional baseball game. Those were two great pitchers who played their hearts out. It stinks we came out on the other end, but our kids played hard.”

Tribe senior starter John Farrell (11-3) kept his team in the game in pursuit of his 12th win of the year. He allowed six hits and struck out six.

“I think it was one of my better games,” Farrell said. “I had outstanding feel for the ball and was locating well.”

N.C. State coach Elliott Avent added, “He’d stack up in the ACC or anywhere. For him to come up with one of his best outings in a game like this says a lot about him. He’ll be a pro baseball pitcher.”

With the victory, No. 9 nationally ranked N.C. State earned a day off Sunday as the top-seeded Wolfpack await the winner of Sunday’s losers bracket game that is a rematch between No. 3 seed William & Mary and No. 2 seed Ole Miss. William & Mary surprised Ole Miss 4-2 on Friday, but Sunday’s loser goes home in the double-elimination tournament.

Sunday’s winner faces N.C. State at 6 pm Monday. Sunday’s winning team would have to beat N.C. State both Monday and Tuesday to advance to the Super Regional.

N.C. State only had two hits until scoring a run in the sixth. Trea Turner, a .374 hitter, led off with a double but was nearly stranded at third. Jake Fincher followed with an infield single that advanced Turner to third with no outs. But Fincher was thrown out by catcher Ryan Hissey trying to steal second and then Brett Austin struck out swinging. Tarran Senay was intentionally walked, but Grant Clyde came up with the clutch single up the middle to score Turner.

Rodon’s perfect game ended in the fifth when he hit Ryan Lindemuth. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a fielder’s choice, but Rodon coaxed a popup from Jackson Shaver to end the inning.

Rodon’s no-hitter ended in the sixth when with two outs hit Ryan Brown and Willie Shaw followed with a single through the hole on the right side. But Rodon ended the threat striking out Michael Katz swinging on a 94 mph fastball.

The Tribe got a runner to second in the eighth when Charley Gould was hit by a pitch and Ryan Brown singled with two outs, but Shaw’s ground out ended the threat. Through a quirk of NCAA regional scheduling, William & Mary batted last in the bottom of the ninth, but Rodon set the Tribe down 1-2-3.

“They don’t get much better than him,” Pinzinzo said. “He’s going to get paid very well to play pro ball a year from now. What made him tough is he could manipulate his curve ball in situations and that made his fastball tougher to hit.”

Ole Miss earned a rematch with William & Mary after overcoming a 2-2 tie through six innings. Wahl threw seven innings and allowed eight hits and two runs.

“It’s good to win again,” Mississippi coach Mike Bianco said. “Fortunately for us, we had a big-leaguer on the mound. I don’t if we had another guy who could win that game. Bobby, although he didn’t have his best stuff and dealt with a blister on his finger, gutted it out for seven innings and finally we put it together offensively.”

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