NC State lefthander Carlos Rodon has a chance to be the number one overall pick in the upcoming MLB draft, but Matthew Crownover did not care one bit Saturday afternoon.
Crownover (6-2) gave up just one run on three hits in eight innings of work Saturday while striking out seven, earning the win for the Tigers. A pair of walks and a hit batsman who ended up coming around to score the lone run for the Wolfpack were the only blemishes on Crownover’s day.
Rodon (2-6), a Junior lefty for the Wolfpack, has been projected as a top pick in this year’s draft for over a year now, but has struggled thus far in the 2014 season and Saturday afternoon was no different. Rodon surrendered 11 hits in a complete game effort, getting hit hard as the game wore on. The Wolfpack defense did not help Rodon’s cause, committing four errors behind him in the field.
Clemson was led offensively by Steven Duggar, Chris Okey, and Steve Wilkerson, with each player notching two hits in four at bats.
But the story of the day was Crownover. After cruising through three innings, the Sophomore lefthander hit a batter in the fourth before a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball advanced the runner to third. An RBI single later and the Tigers were in a 1-0 hole. The offense picked Crownover up right away in the bottom half of the frame with RBI singles from Okey and Wilkerson. The rest of the game was Crownover’s stage to shine, as he held NC State hitless for his remaining four innings on the bump.
After the game Crownover reflected on his performance. “As long as I’m pitching on the weekend, it’s fine with me. It was kind of a challenge to throw against Rodon but I never stepped in the box against him today so I was just facing their lineup and worrying about what I can control.”
The Tigers will look to build on today’s success as they take their six game winning streak into tomorrow’s matchup with NC State at 3 pm at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.