April 28, 2012
Box Score | Box Score
RALEIGH, N.C. - Carlos Rodon went the distance for the second time this season, tying a career-high with 12 strikeouts, as No. 19 NC State took its second in as many days from Duke, 8-3, Saturday night at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Rodon (8-0) appeared dominant once again, despite giving up the most runs he has allowed all season, three earned on five hits and one walk. The only blemish in the freshman's outing came with Duke's three-run sixth to cut the Wolfpack lead to 5-3, sparked by a two-run homer from Jordan Betts, only the second ever surrendered by Rodon.
"Carlos has been a model of consistency all year," said NC State head coach Elliott Avent. "I was more proud of him today than I've been all year when he gave up those three runs. It shows how much he's grown, that he was able to settle down and finish the game."
Chris Diaz notched a career-high at the plate, going 5-for-5 for the first time in his three years at State, with two doubles, a run, and a stolen base. Diaz improves to 20-for-31(.645) over his last seven games with nine doubles, 13 RBIs, and 10 runs.
"[Diaz] had some big hits, but the best thing he did tonight was run the bases correctly," said Avent. "He leads this ball club, and everybody follows him. That's a pretty good lead to follow."
Trea Turner and Tarran Senay eached parked solo shots in the Wolfpack (29-12, 15-8 ACC) win. Senay added an RBI double to go 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run. Danny Canela went 3-for-5 with a double, a run, and an RBI. Andrew Ciencin drove in a pair and scored once with a double in his 1-for-3 effort. Ryan Mathews doubled, scored once, and drove in a run in a 1-for-5 outing.
Duke (16-28, 7-16 ACC) used four pitchers on the evening, with starter Trent Swart (3-7) taking the loss on five earned from nine hits over the first 4 1/3 innings. Sarkis Ohanian gave up two earned as the first reliever over two innings. Andrew Istler allowed the eighth run in 2/3.
For the second night in a row, State jumped out to a first inning lead. Turner led off the game with a walk, and moved to second on a balk. Diaz hit an infield single that glanced off the pitcher's glove to put runners on the corners with no outs. Canela smashed an RBI single to left for the Pack's first run. Diaz advanced to second on the play, then made his way to third on a groundball for the first out. Ciencin plated him to extend the lead to 2-0 with a sac fly to left.
Senay hit a solo homer in the second to stretch the margin to 3-0. With one out, Senay turned on a full count pitch, sending it sailing over the right field fence for his second of the year.
While the Pack built its lead, Rodon busied himself by striking out seven of the first 12 Blue Devils he faced, including a stretch from the second through the fourth in which he fanned six of nine.
The Pack added another run in the fourth to climb ahead 4-0. Brett Austin hit a one-out single up the middle, scoring on Senay's RBI double off the wall in right center. Senay took third on the throw home, but represented the second out when he was tagged at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch during the next at-bat.
Turner cranked his third homer of the season, a towering fly to left, on the first pitch of the fifth to make it 5-0. Diaz followed him by smoking a double to the wall in center. Canela ripped a single into right to put runners on the corners, but both ended up stranded after Ohanian came on in relief.
Duke trimmed State's lead to 5-3 in the sixth. Istler started the rally with a lead-off walk. Mike Rosenfeld hit a flare to right that dropped just out of the reach of Mathews's dive. The ball raced all the way into the right field corner, allowing Rosenfeld an RBI triple. Betts followed by blasting a two-run homer over the wall in left center, only the second allowed by Rodon all season, to chop the lead to two. Rodon recovered by getting the next two batters out on grounders to end the inning.
The Wolfpack reclaimed all three runs in the seventh, stretching the lead to 8-3. Diaz led off the inning with a single to improve to 4-for-4 on the game, but was thrown out trying to steal second. With the bases clear, Canela bounced a ball down the line past the first baseman for a double. Mathews doubled to left to score him, then Ciencin doubled as the first batter Istler faced to make it 7-3. Jake Fincher hit an RBI single up the middle to score the final run of the inning.
NC State looks for the sweep in the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m. Radio coverage for the game will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, fans can follow Twitter updates from @NCStateBaseball, and live stats will be available on GoPack.com.