The expected pitching duel between aces Carlos Rodon of N.C. State and Trent Swart of Duke failed to materialize, but there was no shortage of dueling. After spotting the Blue Devils a 4-0 lead, the Wolfpack stormed back to claim a 7-6, extra-inning win and keep their hopes of a division title alive.
Despite allowing six runs, four of them earned, Rodon tossed 128 pitches in going nine innings. He was awarded the win after Bryan Adametz, who had three hits, led off the 10th with an infield single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Grant Sasser nailed down the win after Chris Overman ran into trouble in the bottom of the 10th. With two on and two out, Sasser got Chris Marconcini to pop into foul territory. Grant Clyde lunged over the railing to turn the would-be souvenir into the game's final out.
Adametz extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Clyde, Brett Austin, and Jake Armstrong all had a pair of hits, and Armstrong collected three RBI. Armstrong's two-out, bases-loaded single in the fourth capped a three-run inning and was instrumental in getting the Pack back in the game against Swart, who entered the contest with a sparking 2.43 ERA.
Swart ended up with a no decision after allowing six runs (five earned) over seven and one third innings. Rodon, who was one off his career high with 15 strikeouts, gave up six hits, three walks, and hit two batters in the nine-inning, non-complete game. Andrew Istler was saddled with the loss out of the Blue Devils' pen; he uncorked the wild pitch that plated Adametz but that was the lone run he allowed in two and two third innings.
N.C. State needed someone to win the Clemson-Florida State game, and the Seminoles obliged with a 2-1 victory. Now the Pack need to finish the sweep and hope the Tigers win the finale in Tallahassee; if so, N.C. State takes the ACC Atlantic Division championship.
The Lady Pack nine road their momentum from the ACC championship to a 2-0 win over James Madison in the Knoxville regional, setting up a winner's bracket matchup with host Tennessee today at 1:30. The Lady Vols spanked Longwood 9-0 to advance. Emily Weiman and Bethany Wells led the 13th straight winning effort for N.C. State.
The ACC Pitcher of Year, Weiman posted her third shutout in four starts. She has allowed a grand total of one run during that stretch. The sophomore righty dropped her ERA to 1.88 in winning her 32nd game of the season.
Weiman pitched to contact- -striking out just one batter in the three hitter- -so her defense deserves a hat tip. Scout Albertson, in particular, did her part to preserve the shutout, starting a twin killing that snuffed out the Dukes' best scoring opportunity. With the game still scoreless, JMU had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth when Albertson snared a fly ball and gunned the tagging runner down at the plate.
Before Renada Davis exploded this season for 26 home runs, it was Wells, a senior, who led the Pack in round trippers in each of the past two seasons. Wells is just fifth on the squad in long balls this year, but she couldn't have picked a better time for her eighth blast of 2013. With two down in the bottom of the sixth, Wells went yard to put the Pack up 2-0, and lately that is all the offense Weiman needs.
The entire Knoxville regional is being streamed live from Tennessee's official athletics site, utsports.com.