Wolfpack backs Rodon for 9-1 win in likely his final home outing

CorrespondentMay 10, 2014 

Carlos Rodon finally got the run support he has been looking for all season long.

Preston Palmeiro doubled and singled to lead a seven-hit attack for N.C. State as the Wolfpack drubbed Wake Forest 9-1 in the opener of their three-game series on Friday night at Doak Field.

It was likely the final home mound outing for junior Rodon, who is expected to go quickly in the first round of the Major League draft on June 5.

The win improved the Wolfpack to 28-20, 10-15 in the ACC, while Wake Forest fell to 26-23 and 12-13.

Game 2 of the series is Saturday at 6:30, with junior Logan Jernigan (5-3, 2.72) taking on Deacons senior Jack Fischer (4-5, 3.18). The starters for Monday’s 6 p.m. finale, to be shown live on ESPNU, have not been announced.

“It took a while, didn’t it?” N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said about the run support. “It’s hard in this league and hard on Friday night.

“His stuff was unbelievable, and his heart. Everybody knows in a couple of weeks he’s going to be in the first couple of picks in the draft. You can Google that and see how much money that is. He really loves N.C. State and just loves baseball. I just hope this school loves him back as much as he loves this school.”

Rodon (5-7), who picked up a victory against an opponent with a winning record for the first time this season, went seven innings and allowed one run on four hits with nine strikeouts against one walk.

“I felt comfortable, and after the rain delay I felt like I was looser and my mechanics were better,” Rodon said. “It was big time to get that run support. Everyone really showed up and the bats came out. It was a big-time win, but we’ve got to win tomorrow, that’s for sure.”

After he was pulled from the game, the fans asked for a curtain call with a standing ovation before the eighth.

“That was one of the best moments of my life,” Rodon added.

Logan Ratledge added a double and an RBI for the Wolfpack, while Brett Austin and Jake Fincher each had a single, an RBI and a steal.

Ben Breazeale led the Deacons with a double, a single and an RBI.

Wake starter junior Connor Kaden lasted just two innings, striking out four against two walks and a hit before giving way to lefty Max Tishman (0-2).

Tishman had an outing he’d rather forget, as N.c. State scored three times in a third inning in which he uncorked three wild pitches. Ratledge doubled to left with one out before Andrew Knizner reached on an error. Austin scored the run with a fielder’s choice ball to short followed by a walk to Chance Shepard. The two remaining runners scored on three wild pitches within a five-pitch span.

There was a 75-minute rain delay at the end of the third inning, with Rodon returning following the break.

“We’ve just got to pitch the ball better,” Wake coach Tom Walter said. “They got four unearned runs and the others all came with two strikes and two out.

“Rodon is as good as there is in the country. When he gets that slider going, he’s really hard to hit.”

The Wolfpack tacked on another run in the fourth off Matt Pirro, as Garrett Suggs drew a one-out walk and later scored on Ratledge’s grounder to third.

The Deacons got on the board in the seventh, as Nate Mondou hit a one-out single to right and stole second before scoring when Breazeale hit an RBI double to the wall in right center.

But N.C. State answered in a big way with five runs off Nate Jones in the bottom of the frame.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service