Pack starter Ethan Ogburn (5-4) took the loss after giving up five runs, three earned, on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. Relievers D.J. Thomas, Dillon Frye, Chris Overman, and Danny Healey pitched the rest of the way, combining to hold the Gators (46-18) to two hits and two earned.
Florida starter Hudson Randall shut the Wolfpack out for seven innings, scattering six hits and striking out four before a two-hour rain delay cut his afternoon short. Relievers Greg Larson and Bobby Poyner pitched 2/3 each after Randall left, and Keenan Kish gave up the Pack's lone run over 2/3 in the ninth.
The Gators broke a scoreless tie in the bottom third, taking a 4-0 lead by inning's end. Josh Tobias singled up the middle with one out to get the rally going. Nolan Fontana singled to right field to put runners on the corners. Preston Tucker singled to center to score the first run of the game. A passed ball moved Tucker and Fontana into scoring position. Mike Zunino grounded to short, but reached on an errant throw, scoring a pair. Zunino advanced to second on the throwing error, then scored on Daniel Pigott's two-out RBI single to center.
Florida added one to make it 5-0 in the fifth, but the Pack could have left the inning in much worse shape. Tucker led off with a single to right and stole second. Zunino singled to center to put runners on the corners. Brian Johnson walked to load the bases with nobody out. Pigott hit a sac fly to right to score the run and leave runners on the corners with one away. Ogburn left for Thomas, who induced a double play ball from the first batter he faced to help State kill the rally.
With a runner on and nobody out in the bottom seventh, a two hour and three minute rain delay halted the game. On the second pitch after the delay, Zunino belted a two-run homer to left, padding the Gator lead to 7-0.
State pushed a run across in the top of the ninth on a two-out rally. Austin doubled on a ball that landed inches fair down the right field line. Gianis pinch hit, and threaded an RBI single up the middle to cut the final margin to 7-1.
NC State returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPNU for game two of the Gainesville Super Regional. Radio coverage will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, 102.3 WPTM in Roanoke Rapids, and 99.9 HD-3 in the Triangle area. Fans can follow Twitter updates from @NCStateBaseball, live stats and streaming coverage will be linked to GoPack.com.