Colleges

UNC outlasts NC State on record-breaking night

Posted May 26, 2013

— On a record-breaking night, top seeded University of North Carolina outlasted North Carolina State in 18 innings, 2-1, to earn the right to play for the ACC Championship.

A two-strike flair off the handle of Cody Stubbs’ bat wasn’t the hardest hit ball of the night by any means, but it found the outfield grass allowing Landon Lassiter to score the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the 18th inning.

NC State’s Brett Williams doubled to start the bottom of the 18th in hopes of a comeback but UNC pitcher Chris Munnelly shut the door getting back-to-back pop outs before a game-ending groundout.

The 18 innings set a new ACC tournament record, as did the six hours and three minutes of game time. The crowd of 11,392 also set records for the largest crowd to ever watch a collegiate baseball game in the state of North Carolina and the largest crowd ever at an ACC tournament game. It was the second largest crowd in Durham Bulls Athletic Park history.

Fans who appreciate a good pitching duel were also well treated as the teams combined for 43 strikeouts, which ranks among the top combined performances in Division I history.

NC State starter Carlos Rodon was the recipient of a tough-luck no-decision for the second consecutive season against UNC in the ACC Tournament. On Saturday night, Rodon allowed just one hit while striking out 14 Tar Heels hitters in 10 innings of work, but three Wolfpack errors and an unearned run sent the game deeper into the night. Combined with last year’s tournament performance against UNC, Rodon has thrown a combined 19 innings, fanned 26, allowed just five hits and no earned runs.

Rodon carried a no-hit bid into the seventh before Stubbs singled up the middle on a 1-1 fastball. The sophomore left hander buckled down and struck out the next batter, Michael Russell, to tie the school record for strikeouts in a season with 147. He went on to add four more and takes a single-season school record 151 into NCAA tournament play.

UNC starter Hobbs Johnson and reliever Trent Thornton were every bit as effective against NC State hitters in their time on the mound. Johnson allowed just one run on six hits over 5.1 innings. Thornton followed with 6.2 innings of no-hit relief. The tandem also combined to strike out 16 Wolfpack batters.

Munnelly worked three innings for the win. NC State used six pitchers on the night with the loss going to Chris Overman. The senior faced just four batters but hit two, walked one and was tagged with the run in the 18th.

While UNC had just one hit as a team going into the 11th inning, NC State had multiple hits in three of the first six frames. However, they had just one run to show for it as Tarran Senay and Grant Clydehit back-to-back doubles in the sixth to chase Johnson from the game.

In extra innings, the teams combined to put 14 runners in scoring position and combined to strand multiple runners in six different innings. – NC State left the bases loaded twice.

Tar Heels leadoff hitter Chaz Frank accounted for three of the teams' six hits - all three in extra innings - and he reached base five times. Stubbs had two singles and Skye Bolt added a hit.

For NC State, each of the first seven men in the order recorded at least one hit. Bryan Adametz hit safely for his ACC-best 15th consecutive game.

UNC will have a quick turnaround after wrapping up their 18-inning win just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning. First pitch against six-seed Virginia Tech is scheduled for 1 p.m. at DBAP.

35 Comments

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  • dscarver May 26, 2013

    I do believe you were incorrect. And NCSC' hitters are as much at fault as the fielders. Then again, the better team, and best-coached team, won again.

    View quoted thread


  • StunGunn May 26, 2013

    View quoted thread


    How 'bout those baseballs on Foxy starting a freshman on such a big stage with a lot at stake. I was a little worried, but Cherry did a good job. Yeah, the Heels have a heck of a bullpen. What a team - with Moran and Emmanuel receiving national awards and recognition. Doesn't get much better. Time to celebrate!

  • Spirit of Evilash May 26, 2013

    View quoted thread


    I thought Emmanuel was going to Gunny, but he was one day shy of the rest they wanted so Foxy goes with a Freshman. What a performance by the Heels pitching staff. Heels feasting on some Smoked Hokie. Where is that frisky Hokie bird?

  • Spirit of Evilash May 26, 2013

    View quoted thread


    No doubt. Unless he gets hurt or just goes completely to pot the kid is a multi-millionare and he deserves it.

  • StunGunn May 26, 2013

    View quoted thread


    If there's one thing I've learned these past two games, it's to NEVER count the Heels out. To comeback from being down 7-2 against Clemson in the 9th inning is remarkable. And at least twice last night State had the bases loaded and all they needed was ONE player on base to score and it would have been "game over", yet the Heels managed to escape. The Hokies will be well rested, but the Heels have Emanuel, who is also well rested. Go Heels!

  • BeastOfTheHill May 26, 2013

    View quoted thread


    a truly great game! No smack can be talked by either team or fans. both teams player played to win and gave it their all.

    I believe that the Heels can win today too!

  • snapjack May 26, 2013

    Since when did they require an age verification here on these forums? How else to explain the adult behavior from these two fan bases? Or is it baseball is just more of a gentleman's game? Either way there was great play all over last night. Some serious leather being flashed and great pitching. Excellent play by both teams - an instant classic and those lucky enough to be there will remember it their entire lives. Superb game congrats to both schools, teams, fans.

  • StunGunn May 26, 2013

    View quoted thread


    So true, Deacons! There has been little to no smack talk going on, and that is so refreshing!

  • jdupree May 26, 2013

    Good game, Pack should have won!

  • kornfan2448 May 26, 2013

    I made it 17 1/2 innings and dozed off just to miss the finish...lol. Didn't matter all that much though. Yes, I'm glad Carolina won on the scoreboard, but what an incredible game by the kids on both sides and would not have been disappointed had the results been reversed and neither should State fans. I have personally never seen a better game on ANY level. A lot of good strategies, great plays and superior pitching. Rodon is on a different level and will have a VERY lucrative career, 130 pitches I think it was....get outta here! Sasser and Thomas were impressive as well. Johnson pitched a VERY respectable game as well and Thornton wasn't much off a drop off when he came in. McCue worried me at first but held his own and got out of a few sticky situations. Going to the game today to cheer on what will probably be an exhausted Heels team, they'll need all the support they can get. They were run hard and put away wet like an old race horse, but Foxy will have 'em ready to go. Nothing a few country ham biscuits, seasoned fries and sweet tea won't fix...lol.

    LET'S GO HEELS!!!

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