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Crawford Will Take the Ball Against Rodon, Weather Permitting

Areas of Florida have seen record rainfall and damaging flooding over the past couple of days, and the deluge that twice delayed State's series-opening loss to the Gators could continue Sunday. There is a 70% chance of rain and, perhaps more troubling, an 82.7489327% chance of #ncstateshit as the Pack turn to frosh sensation Carlos Rodon (9-0, 1.61 ERA) to try to extend their season. The Gators, blessed with ridiculous pitching depth, will counter with sophomore Jonathon Crawford (6-2, 2.92 ERA). That means one of Florida's first-round picks in the MLB draft, Brian Johnson (8-4, 3.56 ERA), would start Monday's finale, if necessary. When your first-rounder is your third starter, you're pretty good.

Crawford has the hot hand for the Gators, as he is coming off a no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman in the Gainesville regional. For the season, the righty has actually been a little more hittable than the stingy Gator staff overall (.242 opponents' batting average against compared to .240 for the staff), and Crawford is either a bit of a head hunter or he can suffer through occasional lapses in command. He's hit 11 batters this year and walked 23, both team highs. First pitch, weather permitting, is slated for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised in glorious high definition on ESPNU.

Regardless of what happens Sunday, 2012 has been a record-setting season for Rodon, who along with Florida's other first-round pick, Mike Zunino, is a finalist for the Golden Spikes award. Rodon's 132 strikeouts are the 4th best single-season total ever for a Wolfpack hurler, and if State wins game 2 and advances to the CWS, he has a chance to break Matt Donahue's club record of 147 set in 1992. With 3 innings pitched, Rodon will tie Cory Mazzoni for the 10th most innings pitched in a season for a Pack moundsman and a complete game would bump Rodon all the way to 6th on the list. A 10th win would also push Rodon into the top 10 for wins in a season. The rubber-armed Donahue holds the record for wins (14 in 1992) and innings pitched (159.1 in 1991).

A number of Rodon's teammates also put their names in the record books in 2012. On the mound, Chris Overman's 28 appearances are the 8th most by a Pack pitcher in a season, and his 6 saves pushed him up to 4th all-time with 13 in his career. Joey Devine is the record holder with 36 appearance (2003) and 36 career saves.

Offensively, Trea Turner's 56 steals stand atop the record book. Danny Canela's 48 walks are the 3rd highest total in school history. On-base-machine and fellow catcher Pratt Maynard set the record with 64 in 2010. Pirate draftee Chris Diaz's 25 doubles put him tied for 4th in the single-season record books, and Jake Fincher's 6 triples are also tied for 4th. Brian Ward (31 in 1988) and Bill Peed (10 in 1955) hold the club record for doubles and triples, respectively. Future A's farmhand Ryan Mathews has 173 total bases so far, good for the 6th best mark in Pack history, and a couple more dingers would have him knocking on the door of Tony Ellison's 1995 record of 186.

Best case scenario: Rodon leads the Pack to a decisive game 3 and he and his teammates continue to climb the record books. #ncstateshit scenario: rain delay(s) force Rodon from the game prematurely, giving the advantage to the Gators and their decidedly deeper pitching staff. Let's hope those blue and orange umbrellas remain furled.