UNC outlasts NC State on record-breaking night
Posted May 26, 2013
Durham, N.C. — 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.