RALEIGH — Maybe the best measurement of Carlos Rodon’s impact Saturday night was how quickly the game changed once he left it.
It was the 7th inning. There were two outs and two North Carolina runners on base, and through 6.2 innings of work, the N.C. State left-hander had mesmerized the Tar Heels with 10 strikeouts and no earned runs as the Wolfpack built a 7-0 lead. But Rodon had also thrown a laborious 128 pitches, and once he threw a first-pitch ball to first baseman Cody Stubbs, he gave way to left-hander Grant Sasser out of the bullpen.
A couple of pitches later, in the same at-bat, Stubbs deposited a ball over the right-field fence.
Rodon’s exit seemed to have given UNC a much-needed boost, but it all came too late.
Stubbs’ seventh-inning homer was the only scoring output for the No. 1 Tar Heels (41-4, 19-3 ACC) on the night, as they struggled to rally against the dominant Rodon in the 7-3 loss, leaving 14 runners on base.