banner
Jeff Gravley

Johnson, Heels stick with speed to oust NC State

Posted June 21, 2013

Hobbs Johnson

North Carolina pitching coach Scott Forbes walked up the tunnel with a youthful bounce. He came up to me with eyes as wide as a kid on Christmas morning. “Can you believe that,” he said. “All fastballs!”

Every single, solitary pitch that North Carolina’s Hobbs Johnson tossed at NC State Thursday night was a fastball. It got to the point that coach Mike Fox told catcher Brian Holberton to quit looking into the dugout for the signs.

Johnson laughed saying there were times in the game when Holberton didn’t even put down a sign. It was going to be fastball, fastball, fastball.

Hobbs Johnson: Beating NC State is huge for me

In his last start against the Wolfpack, that epic 18-inning marathon, Johnson said he may have thrown four or five sliders.

Not a one in Omaha.

The thinking was, with the wind blowing in from centerfield, there was no way a ball was going to fly out of TD Ameritrade Park. The normal pitching philosophy of keep it low and mix in some breakers was changed to spot the heater and use the upper part of the strike zone. Johnson pitched a career high 8 1/3 innings to help keep North Carolina alive in the College World Series.

Staying alive and staying around

Since the ACC Baseball Tournament, North Carolina has played in five elimination games and won all five.

Mike Fox points to solid senior leadership as well as a hatred of losing. “I walk in after a loss and there are some upset dudes,” Fox explained.

The Tar Heels will play their sixth game of elimination Friday against UCLA and would have to beat the Bruins twice to reach the CWS championship series.

But Fox pointed out that his team defeated Rice twice in the 2007 CWS to make it to the best-of-three title series.

There is a huge shift in momentum if Carolina can beat UCLA in the first meeting. That forces both teams to play what will be a season ender for one, and it’s hard to go against the Tar Heels right now with their season on the line.

NC State

This was a magical year for the Wolfpack, with a school record 50 wins and their first trip to Omaha since 1968.

Watching North Carolina go to the CWS in six of the last eight years made it a challenging neighborhood to live in. State needed to taste some of those Omaha steaks to raise the level of its program. Playing on the national stage will help their recruiting immensely.

They could have the overall number one pick next year already on their roster. Carlos Rodon will return to shatter Wolfpack pitching records, and I really like the play of Trea Turner. The future first rounder is smooth in the field, attacks at the plate and can flat out FLY! His instincts on the bases are phenomenal.

Contract extension for Elliott Avent

It’s also a huge boost to the Wolfpack program that Elliott Avent will return. Auburn was hotly pursuing Avent for the second time in the last few years. It was to the point that the Tigers wanted to talk with Avent while he was in Omaha, but Avent would have none of that. His focus was on his team and his love is for NC State. He and NC State AD Debbie Yow will soon sit down to discuss a contract extension. He has two years left on his current contract. Yow believes that Avent deserves more and that it will be taken care of.

18 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • heelsforever Jun 21, 5:14 p.m.

    cheaters never win

    — Posted by kmor2013

    Hadn't heard anything about State baseball cheating. Do tell!

  • jacamoe Jun 21, 4:26 p.m.

    Hey, I give credit where it is due and obviously unc deserves the credit. The difference between state and unc games the last week is unc happen to win the elimination game. Same game at opposite times. Good luck the rest of the way to the heels.

  • ACC22 Jun 21, 3:37 p.m.

    cheaters never win

    — Posted by kmor2013

    Good point. NC State never won anything when Chris Washburn was there.

  • kmor2013 Jun 21, 3:31 p.m.

    cheaters never win

    — Posted by kmor2013

    You are right. The boys in Red taking 3 or 4 years of First Year College courses at NC State... View More

    — Posted by Jewelry-EricLeak

    i was talking about Cheater Hill....i dont know about those lies sir.

  • zonk Jun 21, 2:39 p.m.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA X1 TRUTH !

  • Jewelry-EricLeak Jun 21, 2:09 p.m.

    cheaters never win

    — Posted by kmor2013

    You are right. The boys in Red taking 3 or 4 years of First Year College courses at NC State lost and are returning home.

  • smart1 Jun 21, 1:31 p.m.

    It's easy to say you want to play somebody, but then you've got to do it, Avent said. I don't know if I'd want to play us again, but if that's what they want to do then they get their opportunity (Thursday) night."

    Avent wrote a check his players couldn't cash.

  • bobbyj Jun 21, 1:27 p.m.

    Wow may street got real quite last night.....

    Not much celebrating around here no more.... too bad.

  • 4tarheels Jun 21, 11:49 a.m.

    That's amazing that he threw nothing but fastballs. That's what the stud pitchers do in my kid's rec ball league.

  • wjuliang Jun 21, 11:49 a.m.

    Does anyone else think it is hilarious that the ad before the video interview is an ad for NC State football tickets?....

More...

 

 

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Tonight at 8:25 on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State at West Virginia

    Tonight at 9:30 on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
2nd
UNCW 35
ECU 25
 
2nd
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
Half
CHA 52
UTA 39
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
Final
NYK 90
PHO 99
Half
NOP 44
POR 62
 
Half
CHA 52
UTA 39
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
ATL
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
SAN
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
IND
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
MIL
Final
LALAF 16
NEV 3
Final
UTEP 6
UTST 21
Final
COLST 10
UTAH 45
3rd
AFA 23
WMICH 10
 
9:15pm Tonight
BGU
SALABAMA
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
Final
FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
Final
YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
Final
FD 76
DEL 74
 
Final
PSU 73
DREX 68
Final
UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
Final
ILL 62
MIZZ 59
Final
CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
Final
LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
Final
HOU 63
SCST 71
 
Final
FSU 75
SFLA 62
Final
BING 51
BONA 69
 
Final
RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
Final
MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
Final
JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
Final
GT 65
VANDY 60
Final
INDST 56
EILL 60
 
Final
BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
Final
OREG 83
DELST 70
 
Final
Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
Final
TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 77
STJOE 54
 
Final
KENT 83
UCLA 44
Final
COC 68
DAVID 80
Final
RIU 69
DET 55
Final
UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
Final
MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
Final
NWST 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
WAGN 66
MON 74
 
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
PITT 81
OU 77
Final
TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
Final
WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
Final
AFA 75
UCD 81
Final
MSST 51
USCU 53
 
Final
JMU 71
HIGH 80
 
Final
TXST 90
HTILL 56
 
Final
DRAK 54
ISU 83
Final
SHU 73
UNH 60
 
Final
SCU 72
NE 78
 
Final
MSU 64
TXSOU 71
Final
UF 63
WAKE 50
Final
ND 94
PURD 63
Final
SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
2nd
AUB 73
XAV 71
 
Half
AKR 48
BLUFFTON 27
 
Half
DAY 39
BU 32
 
2nd
UNCW 35
ECU 25
 
Half
CLMB 34
HOF 38
 
Half
GMAS 45
IONA 38
 
2nd
TOWS 15
LAS 32
 
2nd
MAN 45
MRGST 42
 
2nd
CCST 45
YALE 56
 
2nd
PEPP 32
RICH 33
 
2nd
MAR 34
STJOE 45
 
Half
KYST 39
TEXAM 32
 
2nd
MAST 45
VALPO 44
 
Half
UMKC 44
INCWORD 31
 
1st
IDST 29
CALST 29
 
1st
NIOWA 20
IOWA 24
 
1st
SIUE 14
UWMIL 16
 
1st
TEX 5
LBSU 5
 
1st
TCU 0
TXSA 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARK
SEMIZ
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
JVST
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARST
LEH
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
NMU
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASH
OKLA
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
STED
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
WVU
NCSU
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
BST
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PORT
MNTST
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
TAMCC
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
SDKST
 
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
STAN
11:30pm Tonight
UNLV
UTAH
Final
LOS 4
ARI 2
2nd
CLB 1
CHI 0
 
2nd
BUF 0
COL 2
 
1st Intermission
PIT 2
FLA 1
 
2nd
CAR 1
NYR 0
 
1st Intermission
MON 1
OTT 1
 
1st Intermission
TOR 3
PHI 3
 
2nd
NYI 0
TAM 0
 
2nd
NJD 0
WAS 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
NAS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
STL
Final
WAS 27
PHI 24
 
8:25pm Tonight
SFX
SDC