UNC, NC State throw aces in College World Series matchup
Posted June 16, 2013
Omaha, Neb. — Sunday is the day North Carolina college baseball fans have had circled on the calendar for more than a week. They'll see a pair of aces when the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University meet on the baseball diamond at 3 p.m. (ESPN2, 99.9 The Fan).
The last two ACC pitchers of the year will match pitches in the Omaha opener in hopes of advancing to the winner's bracket at the College World Series.
Kent Emanuel, 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA, leads the No. 1 overall seed Tar Heels (57-10) against sophomore sensation Carlos Rodon for the 49-14 Wolfpack.
"I think this is the first time I've ever gotten to face him," Emanuel said. "And my inner competitor obviously wants to get the other team's best shot."
Rodon is 9-2 with a 3.19 ERA on the year, and 18-2 in his NC State Career. However, the Wolfpack have dropped three of the four games he has started against North Carolina. He's only given up three runs in those four games against the Tar Heels.
"The thing about Rodon is he can mix his pitches and throw them all for strikes in any count. That makes it tough," said UNC outfielder Chaz Frank.
The pair have the benefit of a spacious pitcher's park in Omaha's TD Ameritrade Park.
"I heard fly balls turn into outs instead of home runs," Rodon said, comparing the size and wind pattern to his home field. "That Doak stream usually sends them out, but here at TD Ameritrade, those stay in the yard for you."
The CWS is double-elimination. The winner of Sunday's game would play Tuesday at 8 p.m. against the winner of UCLA/LSU, the loser Tuesday at 3 p.m. against the loser of that game.