OMAHA, Neb. — North Carolina and N.C. State are scoreless through three innings in the elimination game of the College World Series.
Despite announcing Wednesday that freshman lefty Brad Stone would start for the Wolfpack, N.C. State made a game-time decision to throw ace Carlos Rodon against UNC and Hobbs Johnson.
Leadoff man Chaz Frank started the game by singling off the second pitch he saw.
Designated hitter Landon Lassiter then wore Rodon in receiving a 10-pitch strikeout, but the ace lefty threw more characteristically sound pitches to both Colin Moran and Brian Holberton and retired the pair in back-to-back three-pitch strikeouts.
Hobbs Johnson showed he can get K’s, too, by striking out N.C. State’s Trea Turner, but then he walked Jake Fincher.
Brett Austin hit a fielder’s choice and Fincher reached second base safely on a pitcher’s throwing error.
Despite having two runners on, both Tarran Senay and Grant Clyde struck out swinging to end the inning.
In the second, both Rodon and Johnson threw 1-2-3 innings.
Mike Zolk started the third inning with a bunt single, then advanced to second base on a throwing error by NC State.
Parks Jordan followed the hit with a sacrifice bunt to put Zolk on third, but Frank and Lassiter struck out consecutively to strand Zolk.
Turner walked in the bottom of the third, and stole second for his 86th and 87th career stolen bases, but N.C. State left him there, just as the Tar Heels had left Zolk.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.