North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon pitched eight shutout innings to continue his mastery of North Carolina, and the Wolfpack knocked out ACC pitcher of the year Kent Emanuel early in an 8-1 victory at the College World Series on Sunday.
Rodon held the No. 1 national seed Tar Heels hitless into the fifth inning. He allowed five hits and struck out eight.
It was the sophomore left-hander's second straight dominating performance against the Tar Heels. The result was more satisfying this time. Three weeks ago he allowed one hit and struck out 14 in 10 innings but got no decision in a 2-1, 18-inning loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The Wolfpack's first CWS appearance since 1968 will continue Tuesday when it plays either LSU or UCLA. The Tar Heels (57-11), in Omaha for the sixth time in eight years, are one loss from elimination. Brett Williams, Bryan Adametz and Logan Ratledge had two hits apiece for the Wolfpack (50-14), with Ratledge driving in two runs out of the No. 9 hole.
NC State and Carolina, whose campuses are 28 miles apart, were meeting for the 285th time in baseball but never on this big a stage. Rodon thrived on it.
He opened by walking Chaz Frank on four pitches, then retired 14 straight batters before Brian Holberton singled up the middle on a first-pitch fastball with two out in the fifth inning. Rodon got help from a defense that turned two double plays. The first one ended the seventh inning after the Tar Heels had a runner at second with one out. The second came after Holberton singled leading off the eighth.
The Tar Heels broke through in the ninth, with Frank singling leading off and Landon Lassiter following with an RBI double. Emanuel was nothing like he was two years ago at the CWS when he threw a four-hit shutout against Texas as a freshman.
Emanuel failed to make it out of the third inning for the second straight start, and the Tar Heels tied a CWS record by using eight pitchers.
The Tar Heels will play either LSU or UCLA in a loser's brackett game on Tuesday.
NC State 8, North Carolina 1
NCAA College World Series Game 3
North Carolina Notes
June 16, 2013
• C/OF Brian Holberton had two hits in a game for the 15th time this season and recorded his 22nd multi-hit game of the year. Holberton has now produced 36 career multi-hit games.
• DH Landon Lassiter extended his season-long hitting streak to nine games with an RBI double in the ninth inning. Lassiter has reached base in 60 of his 66 games played this season.
• 3B Colin Moran drew his 130th career walk Sunday. He is the fourth player in UNC history to reach 130 career walks and he is three walks behind Dustin Ackley (133) for third all-time at Carolina.
• RHP Chris McCue threw 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, his seventh scoreless relief appearance in his last eight outings. McCue lowered his ERA to 2.09 for the season.
• LHP Tate Parrish made his 19th appearance of 2013 and has yet to allow a run. Opponents are hitting .148 against Parrish this season.
• Carolina tied the CWS record for most pitchers used in a single game with eight.
• The loss drops Carolina to 15-20 all-time in the College World Series. Carolina is 3-7 in the opening game of the CWS in 10 appearances, but the Tar Heels are 3-3 in the second game after a first game loss with wins in 1978, 2009 and 2011.
• Carolina established a new school record for walks in a season with two on Sunday. The Tar Heels how have 359 on the year, one more than the 2011 mark of 358.