The third-seeded NC State baseball team fell to sixth-seeded Florida State 11-0 on Friday night in the final game of the ACC Baseball Championship pool play round at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
In a largely meaningless game, as the Wolfpack (42-16) had already clinched a spot in the tournament semifinals, the Seminoles (36-21) got off to a hot start and never looked back, taking advantage of the Pack’s desire to simply escaped unscathed from injury.
“Mentally, [the loss] won’t be a problem,” head coach Elliott Avent said. “We played  games and have gone through a lot of things. This won’t be a problem at all.”
Florida State jumped on the board first, roughing up junior right-hander Alec Barger for three hits, including back-to-back doubles, in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead.
The Wolfpack threatened in the bottom of the second, but senior first baseman Evan Edwards and freshman center fielder Tyler McDonough were left stranded on second and third base after a leadoff walk and single, respectively.
The Seminoles tacked on two more runs one inning later, using a four-hit third inning to knock Barger out of the game and double their lead. The fourth inning brought another two-spot for Florida State, as the Seminoles continued to pour it on, racking up three more hits and taking a 6-0 lead.
A leadoff home run in the top of the fifth put Florida State up 7-0, and after back-to-back-to-back doubles off junior right-hander Michael Bienlien, the Seminoles took a 9-0 lead. A groundout advanced the runner to third base and a single into left field plated a run and moved the Seminoles into double digits.
Florida State added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, and three outs later the ACC Baseball Championship mercy rule (10-run lead after seven innings) kicked in and the two teams were saved two innings of the inconsequential final game of pool play.
“It ended after seven [innings],” Avent said. “That was really positive. So we saved two innings of pitching.”
Florida State took advantage of pitchers NC State seldom used in high-pressure games and situations to bombard the Wolfpack to the tune of 16 hits, seven of which went for extra bases. On the opposite end, McDonough’s second-inning hit was the Pack’s only hit of the day for an offense that would’ve like to keep the momentum going into Saturday.
“We’re fighting for a [NCAA Regional] hosting spot for us, so every game counts,” junior shortstop Will Wilson said. “But it’s just a game you’ve got to wash off and get ready to play for the semifinals.”
NC State will return to action Saturday at 5 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park when it takes on second-seeded Georgia Tech in the ACC Baseball Championship semifinals.