OMAHA, Neb. - North Carolina State and North Carolina were playing each other in baseball for the 285th time, but never on a stage like this.
Carlos Rodon pitched like the star he is, throwing eight shutout innings and holding the Tar Heels to five hits in an 8-1 College World Series victory Sunday.
"This is the College World Series, and it doesn't get any better than this, so why not bring your 'A' game?" Rodon said. "Of course, I try to bring my 'A' game every time."
Rodon (10-2), who required 108 pitches to record his third complete game of the season, held the No. 1 national seed Tar Heels hitless into the fifth inning. He allowed five hits and struck out eight.
The Tar Heels (57-11), in Omaha for the sixth time in eight years, are one loss from elimination. Carolina hasn't lost back-to-back games this season.
"You have to rely on the leaders on your team to rally, and they've been able to do that all year long," Carolina coach Mike Fox said. "It'll be another really good team, and we'll obviously have to play better. I have confidence in my guys. It's disappointing today. I have no doubt we'll be ready Tuesday."
While Rodon dominated, ACC pitcher of the year Kent Emanuel struggled yet again and left the game down 5-0 in the third inning.
Brett Williams, Bryan Adametz and Logan Ratledge had two hits apiece for the Wolfpack (50-14), with Ratledge driving in two runs out of the No. 9 hole.
• UCLA 2, LSU 1: Adam Plutko and two relievers limited LSU to five hits, and UCLA turned both of the Tigers' errors into runs in a tense 2-1 victory at the College World Series.
The Bruins (45-17) will play North Carolina State on Tuesday. The No. 4 national seed Tigers (57-10) had their eight-game win streak end and will meet North Carolina in an elimination game.
LSU scored its only run on Mason Katz's fourth-inning homer. The Tigers, one of the best fielding teams in the nation during the regular season, had defensive breakdowns that allowed the Bruins to tie the game in the sixth and take the lead in the eighth.
Plutko (9-3) allowed four hits in seven innings for the win. David Berg worked out of trouble in the ninth to earn his 22nd save.
Aaron Nola (12-1) gave up five singles in eight innings, and both runs against him were unearned.
LSU made it interesting until the end. Mason Katz reached on shortstop Pat Valaika's throwing error in the ninth but was erased on a double play, with second baseman JaCoby Jones' throw to first narrowly beating Raph Rhymes.
Christian Ibarra walked, and pinch-hitter Tyler Moore hammered a ball up the middle that knocked down Berg to put runners on first and second. Berg faked a wild pickoff throw into center field, but pinch-runner Jared Foster didn't take the bait and stayed put after diving back to second base.
Berg ran the count to 3-0 on Jones before inducing a fly ball to right to end the game.