Omaha, NE – Hobbs Johnson outpitched North Carolina State ace Carlos Rodon with an 8 1/3-inning masterpiece that enabled North Carolina to stay alive in the 2013 College World Series with a 7-0 victory over the Wolfpack in an elimination game.
The Tar Heels (59-11), the No. 1 overall seed in this year's NCAA field, were sent to the loser's bracket after Rodon fired a complete-game five-hitter in an 8-1 win during Sunday's opener for both squads, but exacted revenge on their in-state rivals behind Johnson's gem and a three-RBI night from Michael Russell.
Johnson limited the Wolfpack (50-16) to five singles and a pair of walks, while Colin Moran chipped in three hits and two RBI to help send North Carolina into Friday's showdown against still-unbeaten UCLA. The Tar Heels will need to defeat the Bruins twice in order to advance to the best-of-three championship series.
Mike Zolk added a pair of hits, including a two-RBI double during a four-run eighth inning that broke open a tight contest.
Pitching on three days rest, Rodon was touched for two runs -- one earned -- on four hits while fanning six before being removed after throwing 80 pitches in five innings.
Rodon was in top form early on, racking up all six of his K's while keeping the game scoreless through three frames. The Tar Heels broke through with an unearned run in the top of the fourth, however.
North Carolina loaded the bases with none out on a Moran single, a throwing error from Rodon and a walk, with Brian Holberton sliding just under the tag at home on Russell's sacrifice fly to right two batters later.
Moran, the ACC Player of the Year and first-round pick of the Miami Marlins, came through with a two-out single in the fifth that brought in Parks Jordan for a 2-0 advantage.
Johnson, meanwhile, didn't give up a hit until Grant Clyde singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth, then retired the side in order during the next three innings before the Tar Heels pulled away in the eighth.
Russell delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single to push the lead to 4-0, with Zolk following with a double that knocked in two more runs and all but ended NC State's championship hopes.
Jordan opened the ninth with a base hit and later came around on Moran's third single of the night to account for the final margin.