The only thing worse than playing baseball in cold and windy conditions is losing in cold and windy conditions.
N.C. State got that double whammy from No. 22 Florida State on Friday night at Doak Field. The Seminoles scored 10 runs in the seventh inning for a 16-7 win in the first game of their ACC series with the Wolfpack.
FSU (21-11, 7-6 ACC) had been just 7-8 in its previous 15 games, and was swept at home by North Carolina last weekend, but got three hits each from Drew Mendoza and Taylor Walls to move a game above .500 in conference play.
The wind actually helped N.C. State (16-15, 5-8) early. The first of leftfielder Brett Kinneman’s two home runs looked like a routine fly ball to right field but it got swept over the fence in the third inning.
The Wolfpack took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning after centerfielder Josh McLain doubled and then scored on a fielder’s choice. N.C. State starter Sean Adler (3-4) felt good after he struck out FSU catcher Cal Raleigh with runners on second and third to get out of the fifth inning with a 3-2 lead.
But the Seminoles got two runs in the sixth on a single by Mendoza and then the bottom fell out in the seventh. The first nine FSU batters reached base and the Noles plated 10 runs on six hits and four walks.
Mendoza (3 of 5, four RBI), the freshman first baseman, doubled and scored in the seventh. Walls (3 of 6, three RBI), the junior shortstop, singled and scored in the seventh.
Kinneman led the Wolfpack with a pair of home runs and three RBI.
The second game of the series is Saturday (6:30 p.m.). N.C. State needs to win the final two games of the series to avoid dropping its four conference series (out of five) this season.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio