Rodon, Pack Win Series Opener, 6-5

Carlos Rodon

RALEIGH, N.C. - No. 6 NC State won its fourth-straight contest on Friday night at Doak Field at Dail Park, thanks to a nine strikeout performance by Carlos Rodon and a pair of run-scoring doubles by junior transfer Bubby Riley.

Carlos Rodon (1-1) evened his record behind eight innings of work, holding the Mountaineers (0-5) to five runs, three earned, on five hits while striking out nine and walking a pair. Through two starts, Rodon has 15 punchouts to climb within 52 of tying Terry Harvey for the NC State career record. Rodon's first six strikeouts were swinging.

Riley finished as the only Wolfpack (4-1) batter to record multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs on a pair of doubles and a stolen base. Brett Austin also stole a base while scoring three times in his fourth consecutive game leading off, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks.

Trea Turner went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Jake Fincher drew a walk to improve reach base at least once for the 67th time in his last 71 games. Logan Ratledge turned in a 1-for-3 effort with an RBI. Freshmen Andrew Knizner and Garrett Suggs each scored once. Suggs made the game-clinching catch in right field to preserve the win with a Mountaineer in scoring position.

D.J. Thomas was the first Wolfpacker out of the bullpen, striking out a pair in 2/3 of an inning, allowing one hit. Andrew Woeck earned his first save of the year by inducing a fly ball from the final batter.

The Pack scratched once in the first and third to even the score 2-2 through five innings, before taking a 3-2 lead in the sixth. The game turned on State's three-run seventh, and tightened to 6-5 with Jaylin Davis's three-run homer in the eighth.

In the decisive seventh frame, Knizner started the Wolfpack rally with a leadoff single down the left field line. Suggs laid down a sac bunt, but reached on a throwing error by the App State third baseman, which allowed Knizner to take third. Knizner scored and Suggs moved to second on a wild pitch to the next batter. Austin walked to put men on first and second, and both runners advanced into scoring position on Fincher's sac bunt.

A strikeout to the next batter provided the second out of the inning. Riley kept the rally alive by reaching on a throwing error by the pitcher, scoring Suggs and pushing Austin to third. Riley and Austin executed a double steal to extend the Wolfpack lead to 6-2.

NC State returns to action on Saturday, February 22. Streaming coverage will be provided by ESPN3. Radio duties will be handled by 88.1 WKNC. Fans can also follow along with live stats on GoPack.com, or on Twitter by following @NCStateBaseball.

POSTGAME QUOTES
NC State head coach Elliott Avent:

"That was how [Carlos] pitched at the end of last year. He worked both sides of the plate outstandingly. I thought he was very, very good tonight."

Junior left fielder Bubby Riley:
"I felt good and had a good batting practice before the game. The last couple of games I haven't been as aggressive, so I just told myself to make sure I'm taking full swings. If I swing the bat well, I'll get good results."

Junior pitcher Carlos Rodon:
"I had some trouble with the slider, but the fastball command seemed to chase a little bit. It felt a whole lot better. I felt like I had good velo. I was more consistent with the fastball and on my control of some other off-speed pitches, all-around much better."

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