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2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament: A Great Season Ends In Gainesville

Damn you, baseball team, I'm not supposed to hurt in June! Where do I send the bill for this added emotional toll?

State made an outstanding game of it Sunday when nature conspired against the team at the worst possible time. Obviously we were counting on Carlos Rodon not only delivering a win, but going deep into a game this weekend; that was really the only realistic route to a series win over the nation's best team. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas, and Rodon's day ended after three innings of shutout baseball.

Weather delays like that are more beneficial to the team with the better pitching staff, and that's Florida. But give the Wolfpack credit; the offense managed to score a lot of runs against a tough set of relievers. They rallied in the ninth inning to extend their season. They nearly did it again in the 10th.

When it's been a few days and we can step back and better appreciate the big picture, it'll be more apparent what an incredible season this was. Especially given where the Wolfpack was last year. It might've been the best team Avent's had, and freshmen were a huge part of the foundation. That's pretty amazing.

We're just three years removed from an NC State team that went 10-20 in the ACC. The last two years, the guys had to fight just to get into the NCAA tournament and enjoy a brief stay in a regional. It took one freshman class and a good group of maturing upperclassmen to alter the program's ceiling dramatically.

State will return mostly intact next year, and that's when the fun really begins.