Florida will host N.C. State in the Gainesville Super Regional starting on Saturday at 2 p.m., looking to advance to the College World Series for the third consecutive year.
The Wolfpack is coming off an emotional surge following its come-from-behind win over Vanderbilt on Monday to take the Raleigh Regional.
N.C. State finished third in the ACC standings, and GatorCountry.com is here to give you the quick scoop on what the Wolfpack will bring to Gainesville.
We’ll have much more in-depth coverage leading up to the Gainesville Super Regional on Friday, when the media meets with the Gators.
Overall Record: (43-18, 19-11 ACC)
Road Record: (10-12)
Team Batting Average: .298
Team ERA: 3.50
N.C. State advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a well-rounded effort all year long. The Wolfpack plate a lot of runs and are an excellent hitting team.
Four starters hits better than .335 entering the Gainesville Regional, so Florida’s pitchers will have their work cut out for them. The Wolfpack are very good moving runners around with extra-base hits and some speed on the basepaths.
On the mound, N.C. State is led by freshman Carlos Rodon, who is one of the top pitchers in the nation (more on him below). The Wolfpack have three other pitchers who have made at least 10 starts. None have an ERA lower than 3.23.
Closer Chris Overman has six saves in 27 appearances, but he boasts just a 3.00 ERA and has given up a hit per inning.
N.C. State’s best player is without a doubt Rodon, the freshman left-hander. He is one of the top pitchers in the country and was named one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes award for the nation’s best player (Florida catcher Mike Zunino is also a finalist).
Rodon has a perfect 9-0 record on the hill with a 1.61 ERA. His ERA ranks fifth nationally. He also ranks third nationally in strikeouts (132) and sixth in hits allowed per nine innings (5.72).
While he doesn’t have exceptional velocity, Rodon has great control with a good mix of pitches. His fastball tops out in the low to mid-90s, but he throws both a curveball and a slider for strikes in the 80 mph range.
Others to Watch
3B Trea Turner: The freshman third baseman leads the nation in stolen bases and gives the Wolfpack a huge threat when he gets on. He has 56 this year, while getting caught only four times. He also hits .344 and has knocked in 42 RBI.
RF Ryan Mathews: The redshirt senior originally signed with Florida under Pat McMahon before heading to Western Carolina after a coaching change. He eventually wound up at N.C. State, where he is the best power hitter on the Wolfpack roster. He has 17 home runs and boasts a team-best 33 extra-base hits with a .336 batting average.