N.C. State ace Carlos Rodon put on a show on the mound Friday night for the Wolfpack. The big left-hander was brilliant, showing why he’s the consensus favorite for the No.1 overall pick when the MLB Draft rolls around in June. However, his effort was not enough for the Wolfpack, as they fell 1-0 to Georgia Tech.
Rodon struck out 10 of the first 11 hitters he faced, and the Yellowjackets did not put a ball in play for the first three innings. His no-hit bid was broken up by a single up the middle of the bat of Matt Gonzalez in the 4th inning. In the 6th, the Yellowjackets scored the game’s only run on another single up the middle by Gonzalez, one of three hits on the day for the leftfielder.
At the end of the day, Rodon went all nine, tallying 15 strikeouts, which is one shy of his career-high. He walked only two and allowed six hits. Of the 11 outs he recorded that did not come via the strikeout, all of them were on the ground. Rodon threw 132 pitches, 87 of them for strikes. It’s yet another weekend with a very high pitch count for the left-hander, which prospective teams can’t be too happy about.
While his counterpart Josh Heddinger didn’t have the dominant strikeout stuff that Rodon did, the Wolfpack were shut down offensively. They managed just three hits, and no other baserunners. After Heddinger went 7.1 innings striking out four, Sam Clay got the final five outs, three of which were strikeouts. N.C. State’s best chance to score came in the 5th inning after Jake Fincher hit a one out double, but the next two hitters grounded out to end the threat.
The Wolfpack drop to 22-19 overall and 7-15 in conference play, while the Yellowjackets now stand at 26-17, with a 12-10 record in conference play. The teams will meet again on Saturday and Sunday at 5:30 and 1 pm, respectively, to close out the series.