Midseason turnaround ignited Wolfpack

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJune 22, 2013 

— N.C. State entered the season ranked No. 8 and in the country. It finished the season as one of the eight teams to reach the College World series, setting a program record for wins along the way.

Here’s a look back at the six of the Pack’s best moments:

1. Welcome back to Omaha

N.C. State waited 45 years to get back to the College World Series. Rice made the Wolfpack work 17 innings in the deciding game of the Super Regional.

Senior centerfielder Brett Williams provided the game-winning hit in the 17th to lift the Wolfpack to a 5-4 win over the Owls and secure State’s spot in Omaha, Neb.

The game took more than seven and half hours, and was delayed 77 minutes by rain, but the Wolfpack survived the marathon to celebrate the program’s biggest moment since 1968.

2. Rodon, redemption in Omaha

The third game of N.C. State’s regular-season series with North Carolina was washed out. The Tar Heels took an 18-inning epic between the two schools in the ACC tournament in Durham.

When the Wolfpack and Tar Heels got to Omaha, they met again and behind a complete game from Carlos Rodon, and its best offensive performance of the postseason, the Pack rolled to a 8-1 win over the Tar Heels.

3. Super in Super Regionals

N.C. State reached the Super Regional round the hard way in 2012, losing at home to Vanderbilt and having to win three games in two days for a ticket to baseball’s Sweet 16.

This year, the Pack took care of business with three straight home wins, culminating with a relatively easy 9-2 win over William & Mary on June 2.

4. Lowpoint, then 180

A 6-3 loss to Virginia on March 24 left N.C. State at 16-9 for the season. The Wolfpack came home and three days later started to turn its season around with a 10-6 win over UNC Wilmington.

N.C. State would win its next 14 games and finish the season with 34 wins in its final 41 games.

5. The Catch

Williams provided the highlight of the season, in only the seventh game, with 4.5 million YouTube hits to prove it. Williams stretched out in the left-center gap, diving for a line drive in a 9-2 win over New Mexico State on Feb. 27. Williams completed the dive with a front flip, and the ball.

6. Elusive sweep

Down 7-6 in the ninth inning on April 21, the Wolfpack scored twice to beat Georgia Tech 8-7 and complete its first sweep of the Yellow Jackets since 1992 and the only one the program has had in Atlanta.

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