Carlos Rodon's Streak Of Brilliance

USA TODAY Sports

If my math is right, Carlos Rodon has allowed a grand total of six hits and one earned run over his last 19 innings pitched against UNC, which might have the best lineup in the country. There was his one-hit masterpiece in the ACC tournament, of course, and then there was Sunday. Rodon doesn't seem to mind the big stage too much.

He didn't get enough help in the conference tournament, but in Omaha yesterday, that was no issue whatsoever. State scored five runs over the first three innings and Rodon took it from there. Carolina couldn't manage a base hit until the fifth inning and didn't score a run until the ninth, when Rodon was still hitting 95+ on ESPN's radar gun.

His postseason stat line, including the ACC tournament start, looks like this:

Postseason IP H R ER BB SO
Carlos Rodon 36-1/3 19 5 4 6 41

Eleven of those hits and three of those runs came in his start against Rice in the Supers. In the other three starts, he has taken a no-hitter into the fifth inning.

NC State's big-picture fate, to a large extent, hinges on Rodon because of the lack of depth behind him. He must know this on some level. I'm sure he also understands what it means to beat the Tar Heels in any context, not to mention what it means simply to reach the College World Series after such a lengthy drought. How one blocks all that out and throws the way he did Sunday, I don't know. But I have learned this much by now: don't ever skip out on an opportunity to watch Carlos Rodon pitch.

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