RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 22 Florida State tied a season high with 16 hits in Friday evening’s 16-7 win over NC State at Doak Field in Raleigh. The Seminoles (21-11, 7-6 ACC) scored a season-high 10 runs in the seventh inning, and starting pitcher Cole Sands (5-2) became the first FSU pitcher with five wins on the year.
“Outstanding outing by Cole Sands,” head coach Mike Martin said. “He was dominating at times but I’m pleased with the way he’s getting his changeup better the last four or five outings.”
FSU’s 10 runs in the seventh inning were the most in an inning this season. Entering the frame leading just 4-3, the Seminoles sent 15 batters to the plate with six hits, four walks, one hit by pitch and J.C. Flowers reached on an error. NC State used four pitchers in a half-inning that lasted nearly 30 minutes, and FSU had six runs on the board before the Wolfpack recorded an out.
The Seminoles were led offensively by three hits each from junior Taylor Walls and freshman Drew Mendoza. Walls hit his second triple of the season and had three RBI, while Mendoza had a pair of doubles, a single and was hit by a pitch in just his sixth collegiate game. He also recorded a career-high four RBI.
“People forget we’ve got three freshmen in our lineup most nights,” Martin said. “I’m pleased with the progress that [Nick] Derr, [J.C.] Flowers and [Drew] Mendoza are showing on a nightly basis.”
On the mound, Sands pitched a career-high six innings for the third consecutive game, allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out three. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of eight appearances this season.
Hank Truluck made his second start of the season in place of Jackson Lueck, and Nick Derr started in right field against NC State starter Sean Adler (3-4).
FSU took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on Walls’ triple that scored Matt Henderson and Dylan Busby’s sacrifice fly. NC State responded with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Brett Kinneman hit the first of his two home runs, and Stephen Pitarra’s single up the middle tied the game.
NC State took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, but Mendoza’s two-run single in the sixth scored Quincy Nieporte and Derr to give FSU a 4-3 lead before the 10-run seventh inning.
Sands allowed a hit and a walk in the sixth inning, but an inning-ending double play got him out of trouble and helped secure his fifth win of the year.
In the ninth inning, FSU added a pair of runs on the first hits of the year for Bryan Bussey and Donovan Petrey.
In relief of Sands, Jim Voyles and Alec Byrd pitched the final three innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out six.
“One game does not a series make,” Martin mused. “We’ve got to just keep battling.”
Game two of the series will take place Saturday night on Doak Field beginning at 6:30. Tyler Holton (4-0, 1.93 ERA) will take the bump for the Seminoles. NC State will throw Brian Brown (0-0, 3.24 ERA) in a matchup of left-handers.
Fans can watch the game on ACC Network Extra or listen to Eric Luallen live on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee.
– FSU’s 16 runs scored were the most for the Noles against NC State since winning 17-6 in the 2003 ACC Tournament, and the second most in the 96 meetings between the teams.
– After missing the first half of the season and going hitless against North Carolina last weekend, freshman Drew Mendoza has a hit in each of each of his last three games.
– FSU’s 10 runs in the seventh was the first time this season the Seminoles scored 10 runs in an inning. FSU last accomplished the feat against St. John’s in 2016.
– The Noles 16 hits tied a season high set March 21 in Tallahassee against Jacksonville. FSU won that game, 10-9, on a walk-off single from J.C. Flowers.
– FSU has won 11 of the past 12 games against NC State.
– FSU had 11 players that recorded a hit or scored a run in the game.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).