Rodon, Pack Tops Duke, 7-6

DURHAM, N.C. - Carlos Rodon struck out 15 batters, one shy of his career high, as No. 5 NC State clawed back from a 4-0 deficit to force extra innings and edge Duke 7-6, clinching the series and staying alive in its hunt for the Atlantic Division crown on Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The Wolfpack (41-13, 18-10 ACC) fell behind 4-0 in the third before rebounding with three runs in the top of the fourth. Duke (26-28, 9-20) extended its lead to 6-3 in the fifth. State chopped its deficit to 6-5 in the sixth and tied the game in the eighth, before plating the game-winning run in the top of the 10th to escape with a 7-6 victory.

Rodon's 15 strikeouts fell one short of his career high, 16 set this year against Florida Atlantic on March 2. The sophomore took over fourth place on NC State's career strikeouts leaderboard with 272 through 31 appearances. He also passed Vern Sterry, Terry Harvey and his own 2012 campaign on the single-season strikeouts leaderboard, moving into a tie for third with Cory Mazzoni at 137. Rodon needs 10 to tie the program record for a single season and 114 to equal the career record.

State picked up its 41st regular-season win for the first time since 1996. The school record for regular-season wins is 43, set in 1988. The Pack's .759 regular season winning percentage is tied with the 1992 squad for sixth best in program history.

Rodon (8-2) claimed the victory on nine innings of work by allowing six runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks. The win puts him within one of matching his freshman year total.

Bryan Adametz scored the game-winning run after a single in the 10th, part of a 3-for-5 night with two runs scored. Adametz extends his current hitting streak to 11 games with the effort. Grant Clyde made a spectacular grab falling into the stands on the third base side to seal the victory and went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored.

Jake Armstrong had one of two extra-base hits on the night for State, going 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs, one run and one walk. Brett Austin had the Pack's other double in a 2-for-5 outing with a run and an RBI. Jake Fincher improved to 52-for-54 on reaching base at least once in games this year, submitting a 1-for-5 performance with a run.

Grant Sasser recorded his seventh save of the year by inducing the foul ball that Clyde snagged on the only batter Sasser faced. Chris Overman worked the first 2/3 of the ninth, allowing one hit and one walk with a strikeout.

Duke reliever Andrew Istler (3-6) ended up with the loss on 2 2/3 innings. Istler allowed one earned on three hits and one walk. Starter Trent Swart gave up six runs, five of them earned, on eight hits and two walks over 7 1/3.

The Blue Devils stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third after loading the bases with nobody out on a pair of singles and walk. The first run came home on a wild pitch, then another pair scored on Jordan Betts' one-out double down the left field line. Betts scored from third one batter later on a wild pitch.

Fincher started the rally that cut the Pack deficit to 4-3 in the top of the fourth with a single to center field as the leadoff man. Austin doubled off of the top of the high wall in left to score him. Two outs later, Tarran Senay walked to put runners on first and second. Adametz singled to second base to load the bases for Armstrong, who singled up the middle to score a pair.

Duke stretched its lead to 6-3 in the bottom fifth, started by Andy Perez reaching on a passed ball for the third strike. Perez stole second and a pair of walks loaded the bases with nobody out. A fielder's choice brought the first run in and a sac fly to center plated the second.

State wasted no time in responding, scoring a pair in the top sixth on a two-out rally. Adametz started it with a single up the middle. Armstrong doubled to the left center gap to plate him and scored when Logan Ratledge reached on a throwing error by the shortstop. Adametz reached on an infield single to start the decisive 10th frame. Armstrong moved him to second on a sac bunt. Ratledge moved him to third with a fly to right. The first pitch of the next at-bat went wild to bring Adametz home.

State needed some last-minute heroics to seal the deal. Perez started the Duke 10th with a single through the right side and moved to second on a sac bunt. Jeff Kremer walked to put the winning run aboard, but Overman dealt a swinging strikeout to the next batter to put two down. Sasser entered there and induced a foul pop down the third base line. Clyde went ranging to the wall and dove over a rolled up tarp to snare the game's final out. Radio coverage will be handled by 88.1 WKNC. Fans can also follow along with live stats on or on Twitter via @NCStateBaseball.

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